After 4 years of the Digtial Education Revolution (DER), and the governments commitment to giving all Year 9 students a laptop to keep until Year 12, it is all coming to an end.
Now that pedagogy’s are shifting, there has been equal access to technology between rural and city schools and students are all excited to be given a new learning tool – the funding has stopped. We all knew that it would end, but we were enjoying the ride too much. Realistically, now that the revolution has started, it is up to schools and educators to maintain the momentum.
I know that many Department of Education and Community (DEC) Public schools are seeking solutions to the gap in technology that is imminent. Does each school fund the continued access to laptops and computers? Or do we rely on the school community and parents?
At my school, we have decided to trial BYOD.
Bring your own Device.
One class in Year 7 (My gifted and talented class) are the experimental class. Parents are keen to support it, so we have jumped in the deep end. We have decided to let the students bring whatever device they like.
Yup – On Tuesday when they first brought them in, I looked around and knew this was going to be interesting!!! While this gives them ownership over the device they have chosen – someone hasn’t thought about the impact this will have on the classroom management and teachers. While I am capable of dealing with different platforms, as I am experienced and confident with technology, others may not be. It was interesting to note the percentage of students with Mac devices vs PC. Only 3 of the 28 had PC and they have had trouble connecting to the DER wi-fi network at school. (If you have a solution to this, I would love to know!)
A few parents from the class have been calling me and asking for my advice on which device to get. I have given them my opinion and are letting them make their own choices.
Over the next few weeks I will evaluate how I think this has worked in our school….
And the Students?
To drive the students and get them ready to have BYOD in the classroom, I have given them a great project.
They have been researching and comparing devices and prices, learning about digital citizenship and figuring out the problems they may face.
I also want them to be pushing their teachers to use these devices (after all, their parents have invested in them to be used!) SO the students have to redesign a unit of work based upon something they have already done, and see how using technology would change it.
I want them to present to the key stakeholders: parents, principal and teachers on a panel. They are super excited and really keen to be using their new ‘toys’ in the classroom.
Let’s see how this goes…..