Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Article 10: BYOD Teachers Talk Classroom Use

The school I did my practicum at did not have Wi-fi and there were many times I wish it did, because, like this article says, there is a lot you can do when students bring their own devices. Not only does asking students to access images on their own devices save paper, it also saves space (I accrued a significant amount of paper resources after only three months of teaching).

I see the value in posting up notes but I don’t I agree with completely doing away with student note taking. Although I’ve missed thinking about what a teacher was saying when scrambling to take down the important things, as a visual learner who consolidates information by writing it down, I learn best when I can look over my own notes (based on the things I judged to be important or interesting). Instead of banning note-taking completely, we could teach students how to take notes selectively and effectively.

To a certain extent, students’ ability to take good notes and also pay attention depends on the clarity and quality of the “presentation” and context. Thinking back to my own experiences, I tended to focus more on writing things down than on what was being said when I was in a class where a teacher wasn’t clear about what they wanted us to remember and droned on without stopping. I think being conscious of students having to take notes would help me to put together clearer and more interesting lessons. 

A common worry with BYOD is that some students will be disadvantaged or feel left out or if they don’t have access to the technology. However, if used simply to save and paper from students copying down homework, this is not as much of a problem—I noticed the students who didn’t have phones simply asked their friends to send them the picture. If I wanted to ensure that students follow through I could assign a student to be in charge of sharing the “homework” with those who needed it each week (this would also avoid some of the ‘mass paparazzi effect’ that occurred when almost the whole class crowded around to take a picture of the projector). I remember a student who had trouble with organization finally submitting his assignments when I got him to set an alarm reminder on his phone. Most students now carry their phones with them all the time, so these could now be the place where they store homework assignments and not their agendas. However a simpler solution would be to post homework assignments on my blog.

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