The tool should NOT lead the learning.
I think I've said that sentence one million times in my life. But still there is a great deal of momentum behind incorporating more technology into learning without first thinking about the learning objectives and outcomes. It is problematic when folks lead with, “How can I use this cool tool or technology?” rather than, “How can I better deliver this stale lesson or learning activity?”
Leading the integration of technology into learning with the tool is NOT a best practice. Using technology for the sake of the technology alone will not provide students with meaningful learning experiences. The tool will take center stage and the learning will fall into the shadows. Especially if the tool has a steep learning curve and is not scaffolded or modeled appropriately. Unfortunately, popular technology integration models and frameworks (such as SAMR and TPACK) that most people are familiar with focus on the tool/technology before the learning. Instructional technology should be a conveyor of learning, while remaining invisible but effective in the background.
My research activities focus on constructivist learning theory, teaching and learning strategies geared toward inquiry, engagement, authenticity, and motivation, and instructional design models that incorporate empathy, audience, and human-centered decision making (e.g., design thinking and backwards design). I never let a tool or technology guide my research agenda, but focus first on the learning needs and expected outcomes. There is no instructional tool or technology that will be a “magic bullet” for all learners and technological change is inevitable. To focus first on a tool or technology, without being flexible enough to adapt when the technology becomes updated or even obsolete, is a recipe for failure.