A person whisking a roux in a pan on the stove.

Chef Bryan Dean: Mother Sauces and Technology Evaluation

Author: Michelle Pattersoninfo@ciddl.org

Season 2 CIDDL Cizzles gets saucy as Bryan Dean connects universal ‘Mother Sauces’ to technology evaluation. Starting with a simple 1:1 roux of starch (all-purpose flour) and a fat (butter), Bryan creates four mother sauces to be used as the base for a wide variety of meals.

Just as the choice of which roux depends on the desired cooking style and recipe, technologies should also be evaluated with their purpose. Technology complexity deepens with added functions just as each sauce becomes more complex with added seasoning.

Cooking Styles & Technology Functions

Our chef walked through the different categories of roux while sharing the five categories of technologies.

  • Technology to collect, report, and analyze data

A bechamel sauce evolves from the addition of milk and seasonings such as salt, pepper, and nutmeg to the basic white roux. Likewise, technology options for working with data range from the widely used Microsoft Excel and Google Sheets to more complex tools such as Tableau and PowerBI to educational-specific software such as Performance Matters.

  • Technology to organize and manage

Meanwhile, the organized chef with a pantry of vegetables can create a brown roux, wonderful for beef gravy. Curation tools, such as Padlet and Wakelet, and polling software, such as Poll EverywhereSlido, and Mentimeter, a support organization.

  • Technology to create and produce

A red roux provides the base to create meals across a range of cuisines, from southern, creole, to the islands. Likewise, a wide range of software exists for staff and students to create not only documents (Microsoft Word, Google Docs) and presentations (Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides, Canva) to infographics and video production (PowtoonAdobe Premier).

  • Technology to communicate
  • Technology to collaborate

Anyone who has sampled red-eye gravy knows that combining a roux with ham drippings and coffee results in a collaboration of flavors. Technology tools, such as Educreations, Google Jamboard, and Mural support collaboration.

Beyond the four basic sauces, Bryan aligned the additional “special sauce”, such as a ponzu or chimichurri, to eclectic technologies falling outside of the described categories. Software such as Scratch provides students with a platform for programming.

Key Questions for Technology Evaluation

With the five categories in mind, Bryan suggests three key questions for technology evaluation.

  • Is the technology necessary?
  • Will the technology address an existing barrier?
  • How accessible and easy to access is the technology?

The “shiny” newness of the latest technology release can lure the purchase of technology that isn’t needed. Technology acquisition can be justified by connecting identified problems to technological solutions. Accessibility is critical for staff and students with disabilities. Technology should be evaluated for accessibility, which is critical for staff and students with disabilities. Thoughtful evaluation will not only consider software features but assess integration with current infrastructure and support materials. Translation tools, bandwidth requirements, and tutorials contribute to successful technology implementation. For instance, 2 minutes-or-less video tutorials that can be easily shared with parental support carry over from school to home.

Rate our Cizzle Chefs

Watch Bryan’s full CIDDL Cizzles and learn more about mother sauces and decision-making around digital tools. Season Two’s competition isn’t over yet! After you finish watching, we invite you to rate our chef in the areas of connection, preparation, and aesthetics, using the CIDDL Cizzle Rating System at the bottom of the page. Go to the CIDDL Events webpage to learn about other chefs and their technology and pick up a few new recipes. Check out the CIDDL website for more resources related to the innovative uses of technology in special education and related services personnel preparation programs.