“Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them.” By Steve Jobs
I hear often, how am I going to manage 10 iPads in my classroom when I have 25 students or how am I going to manage bring your own technology/devices (BYOT/D). Here are some best practices that can help you manage the classroom with any device the students are using….
1. Model, Model, Model!! Model what you want BYOT to look like in your classroom on the first days of school, just like you do with all your classroom expectations. Don’t forget that sometimes you also need to revisit modeling and expectations throughout the year. You can even take it a step further and come up with a mission, vision and your own classroom expectations together.
2. Treat the devices like books. Have them take them out when you are doing a lesson that incorporates the use of them and when you are not, have them put them away.
3. Have a charging station but make sure you have rules for your charging station just like you do with other classroom management issues like sharpening pencils. Maybe you can only charge once a day for example when the students are at lunch or specials. Do what works for you but whatever you do make sure you are consistent.
4. Just like with textbooks you will have early finishers, have a procedure/plan in place for those students so they are not having ‘down time’. Remember students are going to read and also type at different speeds. If students are typing up notes in a Pages document, tell them when they are finished to close their device and have another task ready. Or have options such as you can create on these three apps/sites.
5. Don’t be scared of letting students have innovate time where they ‘play’ on different apps but make sure to have expectations. When you are teaching students to learn a new site or app they are going to want to play just like you would and get to know it. Have an expectation in your classroom once you share a new app/site etc that they get 5 mins to ‘play’. You never know…they might teach you something new too about that app or site. If you aren’t comfortable with that, start slower and have innovate time during morning work or recess if they chose.
Remember the biggest thing is to have expectations just like you do with everything else in a classroom. I would love to hear other best practices for BYOT, please share your ideas in the comment section below.