So I just left a great BYOD session with Harbins Elementary teachers at #ISTE2014 and had to sit and digest the information before heading to the next session. Our school implemented a BYOT initiative for 7th – 12th grades in January 2014. I did a lot of PD with teachers and met with parents and students to answer their questions. However, when that switch was flipped, we found ourselves gasping for breath during those initial 2 – 3 weeks. So in hindsight what could we have done differently and what changes will I implement as we go into our 2nd year of BYOT?
Our biggest area of questions and time spent with students was student unfamiliarity with their own device. Even though one of the requirements of the program was for the student to be familiar with their own device, that went right out the window on Day 1 of BYOT. Our biggest struggle was students with Android devices…THERE ARE SO MANY DIFFERENT ANDROID DEVICES!! I’m a pro at the iPads but there is still so much more that I have learned and continue to learn about Android devices.
Lesson learned from this #ISTE2014 session…start with something small, silly, and not graded to get the students adjusted to their devices and using them for the reasons we need in the classroom as teachers. If I want them to be able to annotate PDFs then I need to given them some time to play with annotating PDFs. If i want them to be able to do their homework on their device, take a day and practice samples of doing this on the device.
Even though the requirements state that the students should know their devices, they won’t and if we don’t want to waste classroom time later, then we’ll spend the time up front.