In an effort to provide a level playing field for assessing effective Technology use in the classroom (the T in H.E.A.T.) , the new H.E.A.T. Walkthrough rubric has now softened the definition of Technology use to include both traditional technology applications (e.g., mobile devices, laptops, document cameras, apps) and environmental resources. This latter term applies to resources used in the classroom that are not technology-based nor a textbook such as manipulatives, murals, original photos, guest speakers, other classrooms, and even scientific equipment.
The purpose is to give greater emphasis on the first three letters in the acronym, H.E.A.T., namely, Higher order thinking, Engaged learning, and Authentic connections as well as provide a more balanced approach for schools that experience a continuing disparity among grade levels relating to access to digital tools and resources. Whether the resource is a web application or a paint brush, the pivotal question remains the same, "Did the use of technology and/or environmental resources help to elevate the amount of H.E.A.T. applied to student learning?"