I think its fair to say that not all schools are equal and when it comes to technology, this is especially so. One school has hardwired computers but a poor WIFI system or smart boards only go to math classes and the rest of the classes do not have that luxury. In my own classroom, we embrace technology and use it every day. Saying that, I have two computers for class exploration and I often ask students to bring their phones for a variety of activities. These include Socratic, Kahoot.it and dictionary.com. But what happens when Johnny or Jane do not have a phone? Do they have to sit out the activity or do a paper and pencil activity because the district either cannot offer an I-Pad or a parent cannot afford or by principle allow their child to bring a device to school. In the article from Teaching Tolerance Magazine, they look at this issue and I bring you a portion of it with some solutions to this problem.
BYOD? [Bring Your Own Device]
Compelled by a similar vision of the future and the increasingly technology-driven nature of our society, more and more U.S. schools are adopting “bring your own device” (BYOD) policies, encouraging students to bring personal computers, tablets, mobile phones and other Internet-compatible devices to class to serve as learning aids. According to the 2014 Digital School Districts Survey, conducted by the Center for Digital Education and the National School Boards Association, the percentage of schools using BYOD has jumped from 34 to 56 in just the last year.
So why BYOD instead of “one-to-one,” a system in which schools provide one device per student?
“Fundamentally, it’s school finance,” says Julie Evans, chief executive officer of Project Tomorrow, a California nonprofit that promotes innovation in math, science and technology education. “Administrators have bought into the idea that having a personalized computing device in the hands of every student is a good idea. But they have not been able to figure out how to pay for that on an ongoing and sustainable basis. In many cases—in most cases—they have backed into BYOD as a solution to that problem.”
There are several things that can be done to help those that do not have the means to use technology in the classroom.
1. Ask students to share technology such as a laptop or cell phone. If you are playing an online game, put them on a team and have them share. You have cooperative learning in a nutshell.
2. Check out a laptop/I-PAD cart. If your school has one, plan ahead and have clear goals for students on policy, sharing and so forth.
3. Have your technology person install activote software on your computer so all students can compare.
I like using the data to drive instruction. Using electronic devices where all students can be heard helps drive instruction and students can be retaught by class, group or individually.
I suggest districts/counties/principals and teachers apply for grants. Best Buy has a major grant for technology but that is geared for teachers that write outstanding grants. Mr. Akers
To read the rest of the article from Teaching Tolerance, click here.