This Project Tomorrow Speakup report is worth a read for those interested in BYOT, mobile learning, and self-direted learners: 56% middle school students, 59% high school students would like to use their own mobile devices at school.
Let's listen to those students, shall we?
Thank you to Karen Greenwood Henke (@nimblepress) for sharing it on #BYOTchat
"The partner dance has a lot of insight for teachers who are trying to adapt to today's classrooms. They are encouraged to be the guide on the side, to let students use their mobile phones and other personal technologies."
"The path of technology integration in education is lined with disruptions on one side and opportunities on the other. Technology teams work to bring useful technology into teaching, all with good intentions, only to encounter unwanted side effects such as distraction and disruption in the classroom."
It's important or me to add an editorial note here: I don't believe that technology ADDS a distraction to the learning environment. Students are engaged in the learning or they are distracted. When they are distracted, the technology is just another vehicle for the distraction—no better or worse than daydreaming or acting out.
Nearly a decade ago, when school systems began forking over millions of dollars to purchase laptop computers for every student, these programs (often called one-to-one or ubiquitous computing initiatives) were heralded as having the potential to close persistent technology gaps.
Technology is a great educational resource and tool. There are literally thousands of types of technology, software, and hardware out there for educators and students to use. But what happens when a school requires students to have a specific brand of technology?
In this post, Amdy outlines some great lessons that take advantage of the iPad, but there's no reason they can't inspire similar lessons In a BYOT environment. From the article:
"At Burlington High School in Burlington, MA, we are entering our eighth month of a 1:1 iPad initiative that began in September 2011. Don't get me wrong, we think the iPad is a great device for learning and gives each of our students a dynamic learning tool that can be used across the content areas and to accomplish a variety of tasks. Many of the critics claim that we are backing our students into a corner by giving them one brand and one skill set to learn exclusively on one device. This is not the case at Burlington. Furthermore, I have support."
"I visited New Milford High School with Media Specialist Zach Gross (from Matawan Regional High School) and was immediately brought to a math classroom hearing the teacher say 'OK everyone, bring out your phones.'"
In recent months, K-12 Computing Blueprint has been covering — through articles and a reader poll — the controversy and excitement surrounding “bring your own” (BYO) technology programs. Those who are fans of this burgeoning trend will be pleased to view a video at the web site of Forsyth County Schools in Georgia showing K-12 students enthusiastically using a wide variety of digital tools, both school and student-owned, ranging in size from Gameboys and smartphones to full-sized laptops and desktops, throughout the school day.
One day, fellow teachers will shake their heads at the idea that we once confiscated phones from students, refused to give them the school WIFI password, and required permission to use their own laptops in class.
"Welcome to Technology in Schools, a professional learning community (PLC) to provide and share information on how to evaluate, select, and purchase the best technology for your classroom, school, or district.
"Join us for the next webinar:
Tuesday, February 14th - 4PM Eastern Time BYOT aka BYOD: What you need to know Part III"
Judging by the number of times educators voiced their concerns about the need for professional development with BYOT(D) during Tuesday‘s night #edchat (“Do the positives outweigh the negatives of BYOD?”), #BYOTchat’s topic for this Thursday could not be more relevant!
When it comes to technology, the perception is that it is the least important area in which to invest precious funds. This is why the time is now to seriously consider developing a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiative.
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