Some time ago we shared a post on our school starting a BYOD implementation. It has been a little over a year since we started the process and we are still learning. Some things are so much better now and we would like to share some of the tips that we have learned over this time.
1. Clear purpose.
Technology is a part of our students´ lives. They use it pretty much for every thing and their social interactions mostly happen through their devices. This reality poses a challenge for teachers trying to use technology for a productive purpose. Students will, very often, wander off.
For our classroom, some simple agreements helped reduce the cases of distraction due to improper use of tech.
– All screens face down. With this instructions, our students understood that for the moment being tech was not to be used. Their attention was to be placed on the discussion happening before their eyes, not on the screens.
– Keep records of everything. This helped ensure that the devices were used to keep track of the class and thus reducing the opportunities for students to start games that were not part of the class.
2. Creative/ challenging problems
Trying to change their view of tech, from an entertainment device to a productive one, requires for the assignments to be challenging and demanding. Assignments need to present the opportunity for students to use their devices in ways that they have not thought of before. Give them the chance to use their device´s capabilities to demonstrate their understanding of concepts. Have them provide clever solutions to their problems in the class using their devices. It adds a lot of fun to using devices productively.
3. Give them freedom to produce.
One of the biggest advantages of using tech in the class is that it gives the opportunity of creating a variety of products to show understanding. Give students room to suggest ways for them to demonstrate their knowledge. An artistic productions is as good a demonstration of learning as a quiz, some times, even better.
4. Integrate tech in every step of the way.
Make sure that your activities require that they use the tech for every step of the learning process. From introducing the new concepts to evaluating it, tech needs to become a routine tool of the class.
This simple tips have made this year´s round of integration much more smoother for our students. They have come to the point where they do not have to ask whether they have to use their devices for the class, it is assumed. They already know they have many ways to show understanding, so they strive to show the best they can do.
What other tip would you add. Let us know in the comments.