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BYOD - Challenging old school beliefs

Started by Larissa Hogan 03 Jul 2016 8:51pm () Replies (5)

This year I have been responsible for implementing a collaborative learning environment with 54 year 7 and 8 students.  We have been given 5 lap tops, 5 apple lap tops and 9 Samsung tablets which were around 5 years old and were slow and quite difficult to use.  Our challenge began with changing children's prior knowledge about saving their learning in 'document folders' and teaching them to use google docs effectively.  This was certainly a challenge I wasn't expecting from a 'technology sufficient' generation!  

A second challenge was setting up a school policy to allow BYOD, I had to explain to many school staff members that a smart phone is a viable BOYD and was capable of completing the same functions as a laptop.  The main issue was that our school rules (now out dated, obviously!) did not allow students to have cellphones at school!  

This challenge now sorted, we move to our next (and probably most difficult) challenge which is sourcing more devices from school funds!  We (as in the students) are writing applications explaining how our ILE has changed traditional learning and we now need more ready access to devices - simply having 20 minutes rotations cant work for our 21st century learning.  I wonder how this is going to go???


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 19 Aug 2016 2:07pm ()

    Kia ora Larissa, thanks so much for sharing. So exciting to hear you’re making huge steps forward and that your students are part of this process as well. 

    I hear loads in your post. Ie: Pre-existing

    • skills, knowledge and understanding from students about digital proficiency/fluency
    • tools and the limitations/abilities for what they can do
    • policies around BYOD access at school

    1. Digital fluency

    In terms of the first bullet point, this is always going to be a challenge unless on-going digital literacy skills are scaffolded throughout the school. I see the Ministry of Education has a strong focus on moving Towards Digital Fluency including statements such as; Include digital literacy as an indicator in ERO reviews from mid- 2016 and Prioritise digital fluency in future professional development provision. This will become a norm where teaching and learning has natural and authentic integration of digital tools, hence digital literacies will develop and grow too. For more Digital fluency see http://elearning.tki.org.nz/Teaching/Digital-fluency

    Like Nathaniel Louwrens has written in, Putting the learning outcome first, it's also about ensuring that the learning outcomes remain the focus rather than the technology. I've also written about being clear about the audience, learner needs and intended learning outcomes and then decisions can be made about device/app/software - to help making learning opportunities more accessible and dynamic.

    2. So what are appropriate decisions about tool/device/app/software?

    The Connected Learning Advisory (Ministry-funded unbiased support for schools) has created some resources to help schools when choosing the right device. There is a webinar recording and a guide to download as a PDF file, which is also invaluable. 

    Warren Hall wrote DEVICE CHOICE IN SCHOOLS DRIVEN BY THE ‘WRITE’ THINGS? (CORE Education blog 2015), where he talked about decisions being made in regards to communication tools (keyboards, typing, video) and made some valuable comparisons between laptops and tablets in regards to their potential to aide innovative learning practices.

    3. Policies around BYOD access at school

    Enabling e-Learning has created a concise, interactive tool to help schools when making decisions about Learning with 1:1 digital devices, including policies and strategic planning. There are also a large number of schools sharing their stories around BYOD trials and implementation – which are very useful for those who are starting out on this journey.

    I see Richard, Vredyy and Lliam have made comments about technologies supporting collaboration in teaching and learning. The following growing resources around collaboration in a modern or innovative learning environment (for teachers and students) might be of interest to you all:

    Hope I haven't overwhelmed with this response - just pick-a-path as needed smiley

    It would be cool if you can keep us posted Larissa and let us know how you're getting on too?

  • Lliam Carran (View all users posts) 15 Aug 2016 11:46am ()

    This is an interesting topic. I am excited about the application of technology in school. I think that we need to understand that it good teaching is still what will make it work or not. I have seen classes using tech to extend how they collaborate and learn and other classes where computers are just type writers that get in the way of real learning. 

  • vreddy (View all users posts) 04 Aug 2016 11:52am ()

    Kia Ora Tatou,

    I have recently moved to a new school and its fully BYOD.  I would say around 85% of the students have devices (phones, ipads, chromebooks, laptops etc).  At my previous school I was often using chromebooks with ll my classes.  I have started experimenting with collaborative learning strategies on devices here and would like to know if anyone else has done this before?  Does collaborative learning strategies assist in students motivation to learn and to what extend? 

    What works for you?

  • Richard Gillespie (View all users posts) 08 Jul 2016 2:20pm ()

    Would be interested to hear more Larissa. 

    We have a full BYOD in our year 7/8 classes and have just recently had our build completed. We know have the two rooms as open plan with a learning space complete with green screen in between. We are looking to open things up next term and start team teaching and running 'workshops' on various objectives. 

    We have 2 teachers with 45 students, each has a chromebook.  It is likely that we will start with reading and move forward from there. We are currently in the middle of our digi awards project which lends itself well to the collaborative approach. 

    I am really interested in discussing how you went about your collaborative teaching? 



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