Look, don't get me wrong. I am not a fan of "rigor". I maintain that less is often indeed more. I encourage teachers to slow down and cover less content in favor of deeper learning. There is also a time component to consider. That's when I get a little bit leery of the Maker Movement of which I consider myself a fan. I love the design thinking that it promotes. Still, when students take weeks in the execution of a project or allow the 3-D printer and laser cutter to do most of the work, I wonder if we have milked the learning out of the assignment long before it is actually completed.
Here's another example of "all sizzle and no steak". For many years I taught 8th grade social studies and I had my students make a Year in Review project. (I hadn't touched that document since 2012 until just now!) I remember that a student used iMovie's trailer feature around 2008 or 2009 to make an amazing looking video that I now know required very little effort. As a relative tech neophyte at the time, I was bamboozled by the wow factor. (By the way, the best Year in Review project I ever received was a punk rock song about 1999. A student named Jon G. brought in his amp, guitar and played a brilliant, sad, funny and evocative song. I wish we had digital technology back then. He made me a cassette tape of it that I lost long ago.)
Sometimes what folks highlight as tech successes in the classroom don't do much to advance learning. I won't mention any names or websites here, but I am talking about some reputable and well received sites. Look, I am not dismissing these tech uses out of hand. There are some important"soft" skills such as attention to detail, and "stick-to-it-tiveness" that a well done stop- motion video requires. If well done, a student will also have had to use academic skills to make a story-board. I also recognize that if tech use helps the kids become more excited about learning, that's a great thing, and that it is worth spending extra time. But please always be mindful of the larger goal of learning. Don't make 21st century versions of my dioramas.