My district has adopted BYOD and students can bring their own learning device. And even 8th graders brought their phones, Ipods, Ipads. I actually thought they would be too cool for school. The problem is that they do not understand how to use their devices for learning – they take pictures, videos, selfies, and play games. I get it. They have no idea the power they are holding in their hands. Ok, I am one one of a few teachers in my building who is excited about this new development and understands what a game changer it is for my classroom. And I plan on creating digital citizens in an environment that brings digital literacy. I plan on connecting them with twitter and class blogs, not to mention classrooms around the world.
Ok, first day my students had tasks ( their choices) of finding out how internal forces of change affect geography and ultimately, our lives – earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunamis, plate tectonics, and Mariana Trench. Wow! I was blown away by the amount of reading these kids did about these subjects. They read more in one day than in all the years previous. And they understood what they were reading. I heard science terms, I saw writing, and heard “look at this” as they researched. Yes, it’s a start, yes, I will teach them how to research more effectively, but today I savored the thought that these “devices” will change my classroom in ways I can only imagine and my students can’t imagine.
I plan on blogging about this- the good, the bad, and the ugly as it happens. Reflection was an integral piece of my graduate degree and it changed the way I look at education. (Initiatives in Educational Tranformation, George Mason University), so who knows where this will lead? I don’t know, but I am excited to find out.