|Source: Levels of Use in BYOT|
Joy Rosseau, whom I’ve quoted in the past, recently shared her take on Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), also known as Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT). I found it particularly great reading and so quote her again…her words appear in italics, with my superfluous comments after each:
1) Your district teachers should first have access to or have created digital content before students need to bring their own device. Having teachers trained on how to deliver digital content (whether their own such as with blogs, wikis, websites, recording lectures both video and audio OR third-party – Gizmos,Study Island, Edmodo, Epsilen, etc.) In order to get them up to speed you can use all kinds of PD: Atomic Learning, YouTube tutorials, and 3rd party vendors have their own training videos
We have spent 3 years in professionally developing teachers to manage, deliver, create, implement, and appropriate select digital content, resources, and 3rd party services to build on their TEKS and student needs. We used LoTI, NETS, Atomic Learning, District QuickStarts & PD blogs, and peer and student mentors to build a new learning environment in our district.
For me, this is one of the greatest points to be made. Teachers need to have been building their PLNs, learning to interact with others online. In this scenario, teachers are able to package their lessons in ways that are easily collected and shared with students, as well as empower students to do the same.
On the Value of a PLN: As I don’t have a computing degree I’ve learnt pretty much everything myself, which has involved lots of crying at night. I think it’s important to always be a lifelong learner. If you’re a teacher you should be learning and I think this approach has helped me be a better teacher. I know the pain of not understanding. (Source: Why I became an IT Teacher)
One of the mountains those implementing technology in schools face is convincing teachers that learning how to create/share digital content online in collaboration with others is key. And, even when that attitude shifts, you still have to deal with the “how-to.” In the “how-to” department, iPads are the winners because you often can’t get any easier to create and share content online.
(2) Your district teachers should be working together to build expertise by subject area for online services and providers that cater to their TEKS or their students’ needs. In my humble opinion, teachers’ lesson plans should reflect that they are at least working at LoTI Level 3 (and preferably Level 4b – comfortable with digital online resources) before the district branches to bombard them with a plethora of new devices….this is just my opinion…..
Teachers do need to learn online content curation tools–also available for iPad–are particularly helpful in building expertise, especially they are so easy to use. The LOTI remains as one of the easiest assessment tools that has been built over the years, so I highly recommend it. That said, others are relying on BernaJean Porter’s Levels of Use and/or Dr. Puentedura’s SAMR Model. I know that I’d like to see the following done in regards to SAMR and that is in my “creative future:”
- Build an iPad learning activity rubric based on SAMR, where SAMR is the whole of the rubric not just one component.
- A table of SAMR examples across content areas at different levels of SAMR.
(3) Pilot the BYOD perhaps with seniors first and gain district experience, support and tracking experience.
Due to the technical issues of managing a BYOD implementation, I don’t see piloting or limited deployment working. BYOD is often a “switch on/off” model for a school. In readying a campus for a BYOD implementation, there’s a lot to consider from both a human perspective and establishing new workflows and hardware/software perspective. Joy R. hits on these with these additional points below that encompass infrastructure, guidelines/contracts and learning opportunities/conversations with parents.
(4) Invest in appropriate infrastructure, wireless access, and bandwidth, tracking, and BYOD manager. We are using Meraki and are extremely pleased.
(5) Make sure your guidelines and contracts have been piloted as well. You will find that you may have to tweak them also.
(6) Don’t forget to involve all stakeholders (especially parents) in your PD. We did specialized workshops with our parents and they were extremely happy to be involved in learning about how to better support student progress and Internet safety from home. In fact, they have requested MORE workshops!
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