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BYOD in schools's blogs

  • Interesting article from eSchool News headed Mobile Rises but School WiFi Stagnates which summarises the key findings from a survey, released by Pearson and conducted on its behalf by Harris Poll, that finds that while student ownership of mobile devices continues to increase, wi-fi connectivity at school lags behind home access. (The full report is available at pearsoned.com/mobile-survey-2015-grades-4-12.)

    Here's a quote that gives you a feel for what is reported:

    “Schools are responding to students’ enthusiasm for mobile learning by integrating the devices into the classroom,” said Alfred Binford, managing director, Pearson North America. “Yet, in many instances, students lack a critical tool to make those mobile devices most effective: wi-fi access. To truly realize the power of mobile learning, it is crucial that we support schools as they extend wi-fi connectivity to their students.”

    Another point from the survey I found interesting:

    Students in grades 4-12 who use only one device during a typical school day are more than two-and-a-half times as likely to say that the device is a laptop than a tablet (59 percent vs. 24 percent) and nearly four times as likely to say that device is a laptop than a smartphone (59 percent vs. 15 percent).

    Would be interested to note what is happening in NZ schools. Is the provision of high speed broadband delivering a better WiFi solution in schools here? To what extent are students using mobile data plans as an alternative?

  • Interesting post from a US writer titled 5 Strategies for building a powerful BYOD classroom. His list of strategies are:

    • Anticipate problems - they will come
    • Teach appropriate device and Internet use constantly
    • Blend the learning
    • Have extra devices on hand
    • Plan your curriculum around BYOD

    No real surprises in this list - and perhaps useful for someone at the beginning of the journey - but I'd have to say there's a really big one missing for me - that's to establish "WHY" - 'why are you promoting a BYOD strategy in your classroom, what will it add to your student's learning that isn't there now etc.?"

    If this question is answered well then advice like "plan your curriculum around your BYOD" becomes redundant because the notion of planning the curriculum around anything like this smacks of an 'additive' mindset. A powerful BYOD classroom, in my opinion, is where the devices are used in such an integrated way that they're more like the 'air we breathe' than a 'how can we use our device in this circumstance'. 

    I wonder what the advice from members of this group might be if we were to construct a list of Strategies for building a powerful BYOD classroom? Add them in a reply to this post - will be interesting to see what emerges...

  • Thought I'd share a couple of articles that might be of use to those in this group. 

    The first is titled "7 myths about BYOD" by Lisa Nielsen. In this she debunks a number of the arguments you often hear made about BYOD, providing a thoughtful response to each. Could be handy in a staff discussion, or as background reading before a parent evening ;-)

    The other is by Tiziana Saponaro, a US teacher who uses her personal experience to summarise what she sees as The benefits of BYOD in the classroom

    Why not leave a comment with your thoughts after reading these - or add to the list of benefits or myths...

  • An oft expressed concern from teachers and parents when contemplating a class full of students using their own device is the risk of 'digital distraction' - i.e. "how will we know they're on-task, and not off using the device for something other than what we intended?"

    There's no doubt that digital distraction is an issue for all of us - not just our learners. These devices we have provide all sorts of opportunities to go off on tangents and follow where our interest may take us. I have collegues who struggle in meetings when we're using our devices to collaboratively record minutes who find they just can't help checking their facebook page for instance. 

    There appear to be two responses to this problem in BYOD classrooms:

    1. impose rules and limitations on access to enforce behaviours (extrinsic), or
    2. promote self-managing behaviours and personal responsibility (intrinsic)

    I'm personally biased towards the second of these - I find little long term benefit in establishing rules and boundaries as the first line of defense as these aren't effective strategies for establishing behaviours that will endure once the class is over. However, the pragmatist in me realises that there is a bit of a continuum here, and there is a need to consider a range of options, depending on the age, stage and context of the learners in question - and that the interventions will always need to be fluid as we move students towards the goal of self-management. 

    An article by Kyle Albert from the Global Digital Citizen Foundation prompted this post from me. Titled, how to minimise digital distractions, Kyle recommends exploring 'rules and regulations' as one approach, and the use of monitoring and surveillance as another. He also notes the importance of making learning engaging in the final paragraph - something that I think deserves more attention and perhaps a separate blog post ;-)

    It would be interesting to discover what is happening among the schools in NZ where students are using their own device? What strategies are you implementing to mitigate the risk of digital distraction? 

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    Blogger Steven Anderson shares some useful thoughts and links to collections of resources on BYOD.

    The things he mentions include:

    THE Journal lays out 7 myths and 7 truths around BYOD.

    At Edudemic, they’ve assembled a solid list of sites and apps to use in the BYOD classroom.

    At TeachThough they’ve assembled a 9 point checklist of things to consider when embarking on the BYOD journey.

    This Livebinder on Everything BYOD has links on everything from the planning process to policy considerations, to ideas for BYOD PD etc.

  • texting

    As we prepare for the return of students to our classrooms, many teachers and schools will be considering the implications of their BYOD programmes and increased wireless access meaning more kids using digital devices in school. With such privilege comes responsibility, and a key focus for teachers, leaders and school policy makers must be on thinking through the implications of such decisions, and how this all contributes to the overall academic and personal development of our students. 

    Jason Ohler has written extensively on using technology effectively, creatively and wisely, and is known to many NZ teachers through his keynotes and workshops at ULearn and other conferences here.  A couple of years ago he wrote an article in Educational Leadership magazine that summarises the dilemma very well. He writes..

    Our challenge is to find ways to teach our children how to navigate the rapidly moving digital present, consciously and reflectively. How we meet this challenge depends on how we address the following fundamental question about teaching our digital-age children: Should we teach our children as though they have two lives, or one?

    The article goes on to offer lots of food for thought and practical advice that could be useful to you at the beginning of this school year. For those with responsibility for creating school policies and procedures regarding the use of digital devices and the development of digital literacy, here are just a few of the issues that Ohler suggests a comprehensive digital citizenship curriculum  should address:

    1. Balance. Understanding past, present, and possible future effects of technology. Cultivating a sense of balance that considers opportunity as well as responsibility, empowerment as well as caution, personal fulfillment as well as community and global well-being. 
    2. Safety and security. Understanding how online actions might lead to harm to yourself or others. Includes protecting your own privacy, respecting that of others, and recognizing inappropriate online communications and sites (such as sexual material and other resources intended for adults).
    3. Cyberbullying. Understanding the potentially devastating effects of cyberbullying and how it violates ethical principles of personal integrity, compassion, and responsible behavior.
    4. Sexting. Understanding the negative consequences of using a cell phone to take and transmit pictures of a sexual nature of oneself or others.
    5. Copyright and plagiarism. Respecting others' intellectual property rights and reflecting on the legality and ethics of using online materials without permission (a complex and murky area of the law, bounded by "fair use" guidelines).

    [this post originally appeared in Derek's Blog on 20.1.14]

  • This was originally posted by Fiona 11 December 2011. This is cross-posted as part of the transition of Software for Learning to Enabling e-Learning.

    Nathan Kerr and Robert Douglas, teachers at Howick College, participated in the mLearning Capability Pilot Project in 2010. The project explored the impact of mobile technologies on teaching and learning.

    The project report also addressed emerging findings in relation to the use of mobile technologies in schools including:
    • Infrastructure
    • Students’ and teachers’ perceptions of using mLearning devices
    • The role of pedagogical content knowledge (PCK)
    • Characteristics of teachers likely to engage in such innovations
    • Characteristics of other key personnel
    • Leadership

    Access the full report:
    mLearning Capability Pilot Project at Howick College (pdf, 635kb): Research report for the Ministry of Education. University of Waikato (Wright, N. November, 2010).

    Describes how student owned mobile devices have been used to enhance the relevance of new learning and enable students to take greater ownership of the learning process. 

    mLearning Etiquette

  • The question of which device to support or promote is getting lots of airplay in various forums at the moment. This recent post from Forbes magazine reports Six Reasons Educators Say They Are Choosing Chromebooks Over iPads, Netbooks And PCs. I know some schools in New Zealand are promoting the use of Chromebooks at present, while others are strongly supporting iPads and more recently the Microsoft Surface is appearing as supporters get excited over Windows8 etc. I'd be interested to hear feedback from schools in this forum of what successes and benefits they've had with any of the above, both technically and pedagogically. 

  • BYOD_alberta

    Bring Your Own Device: A Guide for Schools was written by a province-wide group of educators including representatives from 10 school authorities, Alberta Education, stakeholder groups and the Metiri Group.

    This guide examines the use of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) models in schools. It looks at the potential opportunities and benefits, as well as the considerations, risks and implications that arise when schools allow students and staff to use personally owned devices in the classroom and school
    environments. Strategies, tips and techniques are included to address the considerations and manage the risks.

    The guide is NOT a step-by-step manual for implementing models that enable students to use personally owned devices in school. While teachers, parents, community members and other stakeholders may find the
    guide informative, it is written with school and school authority administrators and leadership teams in mind. It is meant to inform their decision making and strategic planning should they decide to support a BYOD model in their schools.

    Table of contents:

    • Section 1: Why Bring Your Own Devices?
    • Section 2: Bring Your Own Device Models 
    • Section 3: School Authority Policy Considerations
    • Section 4: Establishing a Culture of Digital Citizenship 
    • Section 5: Teaching, Learning and Assessment Using a Bring Your Own Device Model 
    • Section 6: Digital Content
    • Section 7: Access and Infrastructure Considerations for a Bring Your Own Device Model 
    • Section 8: A Framework for School Authority Readiness
    • Section 9: Community Interaction 
    • Appendix A: Bring Your Own Device - A Vision for Education in Alberta
    • Appendix B: Definitions
  • Lots of presentations at the CoSN conference in San Diego this week about BYOD, mobile learning and 1-1 initiatives. As part of this, CoSN have published this guide to evaluating the effectiveness and impact of mobile learning initiatives in your school

    Districts around the country are using mobile learning as a strategy for delivering new kinds of learning experiences to students and pursuing student, teacher, and community outcomes of interest. But what makes a mobile learning experience powerful for students? How does mobile learning lead to desired results? What kind of outcomes might be reasonable to expect given the resources and time available in your district? 

    This section of the LML Administrator’s Guide provides tools for defining and refining your goals, designing an evaluation around those goals to measure your progress, and drawing on existing mobile learning research to support your district’s pilot efforts.

    Plenty of useful tips and ideas in here for formulating your own school's approach for evaluating the effectiveness of similar initiatives. 

    Also shared in the session, this example of a mobile device computing policy from a US school.