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Managing device use in a BYOD classroom

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Started by Rebecca 04 Mar 2015 8:58pm () Replies (14)


I have a year 4/5 class where the children all have a device - some are using their own, some are using the schools chromebooks.  For the most part this is working really well and the children are really engaged but we are having some problems with monitoring the use of the devices particularly when I am working with a group or conferencing with individual children.  I am finding that during these times some of the children are using their devices inappropriately - playing games, sending each other lot's of emails or taking silly photos.  

So my question is does anyone have any ideas on how to manage 28 children's devices to ensure they are on task?  I've seen a few different software packages that allow you to see thumbnails of each child's device but they all seem very expensive. 

Any ideas??


  • ian suckling (View all users posts) 05 Mar 2015 10:24am ()

    Hi all,

    My intention's not to be high minded, but perhaps to rattle the cage a bit :)

    It's interesting that the focus is on technological, rather than pedagogical solutions. The image of teachers sitting at their desk 'monitoring' thumbnails of kids' screens is interesting. Is the problem the emailing and photos, or is it their content? When I'm working on a Uni assignment, I'm never focused and 'on task' 100% of the time. I make cups of tea, check emails, stare out the window, etc - and this helps my learning.

    I'm interested to know: whether activities and problems are meaningful & purposeful for the individuals concerned, is social / collaborative interaction planned for, is there student choice of topic/activity/tools, have the students co-constructed the desired outputs/outcomes, is the process chunked / scaffolded, etc?

    If they have a need to be social and have fun, could this be directed towards the learning intentions and gathered as evidence of learning. Students recording 'how-to tutorials', making animations or recording voice to narrate a picture story are all ways to focus chattiness towards a desirable learning outcome. 

    A quote, from somewhere, that I like is: Engaging students means getting kids excited about OUR content, interests, curricula. Empowering students means giving kids the knowledge and skills to pursue THEIR passions, interests, future.

    This is especially important for boys. They aren't 'girls in trousers' and boy behaviour is not always bad behaviour. They're physical and loud, but also sensitive, intuitive and thoughtful. As a grown boy, and father of a boy, I can attest to the fact that if the purpose isn't meaningful, boys won't invest energy or time. 

    I worry that the technological solutions suggested put a lid on or suppress the students' enthusiasm, energy, communication, originality, humour, creativity, etc and push their 'mis-behaviour' underground. Whereas, pedagogical solutions might guide, encourage, nurture, utilise these desirable traits.

    (Please be kind in any responses to this!)

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