Does this look like a different language? We live in a world where we cannot watch a TV show, Presidential debate or Sporting event without seeing symbols like # or @. What do they mean and who will teach us how to use them?
FYI #BYOD @SEMSchool by @joeterch on http://www.facebook.com/SEMSchool
|One of the SEMS-East tech closets|
For your information, twitter hashtag Bring Your Own Device at South Eastern Middle School-East twitter page by my twitter page located on South Eastern Middle School-East facebook page address.
For those of us who did not grow up with technology, "Digital Immigrants", the title of this post and many things involving technology look a lot like this picture. Our students and children, "Digital Natives", see things much clearer. Marc Prensky uses the terms "Digital Natives and Immigrants" in his article from On the Horizon. Schools need to find new ways to reach students and in order for us at SEMS-East to work toward our Mission statement, "Providing progressive education to strengthen the global community", we need to do something different.
Enter BYOD. Bring your own device was not started here at SEMS-East but has been a trend in technology both in the education and business fields. The idea that, in our case, the district must purchase all the technology that students can use is not feasible anymore. Plus, students, thanks to jobs, parents and other people who love them and spoil them, have the newest and best phones, players and tablets that, until now, could only be used outside of school.
Our first "Tech Tuesday" was displayed on the cover of last week's York Daily Record thanks to @angiemason. Students were encouraged to bring in devices that could connect to the internet. Teachers planned to add some sort of tech tool or focus to their lessons. As I said in the article, the technology adds to the instruction, it's not the instruction. The focus of this first attempt was to make sure that all students who wanted to could get onto our network, that the network could handle the extra load and that students would use their devices effectively and appropriately. I would say that the first "Tech Tuesday" was a success. We plan to continue our "Tech Tuesday's" every other week for the 2nd marking period and move toward full implementation of a BYOD program starting in January.
The students that I saw in the hallways and classroom showed me that this is not something we could do but something we have to do. In my opinion progressive education is a focus on learning and teaching students how to learn. We need to make sure that students view these technology devices as learning devices. Schools need to teach students how to use information, find information and sort information. With the endless supply of information on the internet, our students should be able to determine what is useful and reliable from what is just someone's opinion I expect that there will be some bumps in the road and students will not use their devices effectively and appropriately. I can assure you that the South Eastern School District, the technology department, the teachers, support staff and especially the principal will do whatever it takes to make sure that this program is effective and that our students will be college and/or career ready upon graduation.