“Empowering students and teachers with their personal technology devices to improve opportunities for learning.” Tim Clark (@BYOTNETWORK)
I was lucky, along with my district’s instructional technology specialists, to be able to attend this weeks BYOT tour in Forsyth County, GA. I first heard about this FREE tour during a twitter chat. If you haven’t joined #BYOTchat you are missing out. They are Thursdays 9 PM EDT. Below are somethings I learned on the trip along with ideas that were reinforced and sayings I enjoyed. We also back channeled on twitter #byottour.
Things I learned:
- Schools have a weekly BYOT meeting to share ideas. They also use Edmodo to share as well. They created a BYOT team in the building that are problem solvers.
- The elementary school had learning zones through the school. These were places that students could work that were not in the classroom.
- Subjects were cross-curricular in elementary school and planned in units. There was no block schedule, ex. math from 8:00-9:00 etc. Lessons ideas here http://blogs.forsyth.k12.ga.us/azink/byot/byot-tour-resources
-@Zinked_U is a wonderful resource for the elementary school. She helps plan and gives ideas to the teachers.
- I liked how they had ‘travel’ green screen. It was just a sheet they pinned up in the hall way.
- Students could bring in multiple devices. (Ex. One student had her notes on her iPod touch using evernote and then researching on her laptop.)
- Students sharing devices without a problem. When I asked a student if they minded all said no.
- In some classrooms they had a section of BYOT information. In this section they had things such as the class rules for byot and apps they liked. (Some rules were, no downloading apps, use byot wifi, student is responsible for device, no charging, make good decisions.)
- The students signed a code of conduct with district rules and consequences.
- ‘Device Dig’ – the students in the classroom made a tally chart of the different devices and how many they had of each for their classroom. (Ex 10 iPads, 9 iPod touches, 4 DSI)
- Media center needs to be the information hub of the school.
- Some teachers in High School addressed different devices. (Ex. if you have an iPhone…)
- Not all teachers are at the same level but they are moving forward and challenging themselves.
- Putting the phone on airplane mode takes away texting so the device is just used for note taking, researching or apps.
Things that were reinforced:
- Technology is an invisible engagement.
- Best practices of having students plan (write out what they are going to do-example scripts before they create movie.)
- Mini-Lessons without technology was still evident with anchor charts etc.
- QR scavenger hunts being used. QR was also being used in PE for circuit training.
- The students still need some structure as the teacher facilitates the learning. (Ex.steps on how to complete a project.)
- The behavior is not the device (tool) but the student.
Apps and Sites I saw being used:
Evernote (App and Site)
Voice Thread (App and Site)
Socrative (App and Site)
Virtual Manipulative’s (App and Site)
Gizmos (App and Site)
Quizlet (App and Site)
Follett (App and Site– must have an account-not free)
Sayings I liked from students, staff, board members and parents.
“We expanding learning opportunities through BYOT. The students are having a deeper level of understanding.”
“We believe it’s our job to tend to the hearts and minds of children.”
“What we do every minute counts.”
“I love working with my own device because then I can do the same things at home or where-ever I am, that I do in school.”
“Bring your own technology is preparing our students from elementary school up for college. Technology is always changing but they are learning with the changes because they can use their own devices.”
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit.” Aristotle (this quote was in all rooms)
“Fairness does not mean everyone receives the same. Fairness means that everyone receives what they need to help them succeed.” (Also posted)
More Information About the Tour: (Highly recommend)
From Tim Clark an Instructional Technology Specialist- Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) one-day tours that we are organizing for this school year. Because of interest in our BYOT initiative, we have organized three tour dates – September 28, 2012, November 30, 2012, (already booked) and April 25, 2013 (still available slots). On each of those dates, we meet at our district office in Forsyth County, GA and board school buses to observe BYOT in action at three different school levels – elementary, middle, and high school. Breakfast and lunch will also be provided by some of our business partners. There is no cost to attend these tours as we are excited about sharing what we have learned about transforming instruction with BYOT. More information can be found about these tours at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/byottours.