Sunday, February 03, 2013

My Reading: Learning More about BYOD

We have a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policy at school.  Early in the year, most of my kids didn't have their own devices and those that did pretty much used them for ebook reading. A Kindle, a Nook, an iPod touch. But since  the holidays, more of my students have mobile devices.
Smart phones, iPods, Kindles, Nooks, etc.  All of a sudden in January, kids are involved in all kinds of writing projects and they understand the power of these tools beyond ereading.  They watch me take photos of their work on my iPhone/iPad to drop into my conference folder. They've seen me take notes on my phone when we have a guest speaker or when I need to remember something. They knew I had my twitter feed up during the Newbery announcements (not for them to follow as it was filled with inappropriate spam) but just in case the live feed stopped working.  We have one cart in the school that houses laptops, ipads and ipods.  They learned some apps early and have used the iPods/iPhones/iPads for videotaping, notes, photos, etc. as the year has progressed have started using their devices in new ways.  I have an old iPod and and iPod shuffle that I want to add to the mix of what is available to kids and the kids are (very quickly!) learning new ways to use their devices for learning.  

With all of this comes lots of learning for me. I have a Kindle Fire, but have no idea how to get a child's writing from their Kindle Fire to my dropbox. I have an iPod but again, my notes feature has a setting that automatically drops it in my email. One student mentioned a DS and I have never actually touched one of those.  So, lots of learning for me. How to find the right tools for kids on devices I don't know and how to get their work to where it needs to be. If a child writes a blog post on their iPod, I have to figure out how to get that when the children do not have email accounts.  Not huge things, but interesting challenges, nonetheless.

As I've been reading to find information on these issues, I have come across some great articles.  I have tried to look at articles that do not focus on 1:1 schools, but schools like mine that have some devices and a BYOD policy.  I am going to add these to my Pinterest board so I have them at my fingertips. These are mostly articles I'd read before but with more devices, we have more opportunities for learning. I find at this age, parents of students are very supportive of their students using these devices for their learning. We are all trying to find apps that will help them as readers, writers and learners.

I am excited about the whole BYOD option, especially now that so many more students have a tool. Between the ones they bring in and the school's technology, kids are really changing the focus on their learning.  And I am learning lots too.

Here are the posts/articles I've read recently to help me make sure I am thinking broadly about the way devices can be used.  If you have any others, I'd love to add them to my reading list!

Some Schools Actually Want Students to Play With Their Smartphones in Class

I found this entire blog on Nooks in the Classroom

44 Better Ways to Use Smart Phones in the Classroom

And I love this newest post by George Couros, BYOB:  A Bare Miniumum--Love his last two paragraphs about it being the least we should be doing and it has to be about what we are doing with these devices.

Looking forward to learning more and in watching to see what my students do with the devices in the future!


  1. As you know, one of my students brought an iPod to school to share a video with our class. She has been writing about her turtle. Her friends love these stories. Recently, we got a tank of mealworms in our classroom for a science study. She was telling the class that they have mealworms at her house to feed the turtle. The class was intrigued so she brought a video to show us. The students had many questions after watching the turtle eat the mealworms. It was amazing --- and I thought, hmmm BYOD. However, I must admit I was a nervous wreck something would happen to that iPod.

    Thanks for you thoughts on your journey. I look forward to reading more in the weeks to come, and in the links you shared.

  2. This is the first year that I've had my kids bring their various devices in. What a difference it has made!

  3. Is it hard when some kids have devices and some kids don't? None of my kids' schools encourage bringing devices in, so this is new to me. My son went to a rough middle school where things would be stolen immediately. It is hard for me to picture having BYOD there.


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