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Using Academic Technologies

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Technology is often fundamental to the planning of any course, particularly when learning happens online.

We often think of technology as a set of tools, but also keep in mind the importance of technique, know-how, and support when planning your course.

Start with Stanford-approved tools and platforms

Stanford has approved a wide array of learning technologies. These tools have been reviewed and vetted for security, accessibility, and effectiveness. The cost of license fees is typically covered by the university, and a support infrastructure is put in place. 

Because many of these tools are widely used, students are familiar with them. Students can then focus on the course content rather than learning an additional tool. The support staff are also much more informed and knowledgeable about these tools, which allows them to provide in-depth support and recommendations.

Instructors that have identified a currently unsupported tool that they would like to use may initiate the review process with the Learning Technologies and Spaces team.

Balance technology with your course goals

When planning your course, select technology tools that enhance your students' ability to achieve course learning goals. Also, consider how the tool might make your teaching more effective or efficient. While some technologies and pedagogies may be innovative and inspiring, they may have a steep learning curve or costs that outweigh the benefits. There is often a trade-off between enhancing learning and adding to the load on users.

Connect with learning technology experts

Stanford has a wide variety of experts that support faculty and students with different aspects of learning technology. However, it can be difficult to navigate the many different service providers and organizational units. 

The Teaching Commons (primarily managed by the Center for Teaching and Learning) is designed to be a central hub for navigating these resources. We can help connect you to the right resources. Email us at or request a consultation.

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