There are lots of great blogs that will tell you the what and how of Bring Your Own Device programs. Instead of going big here, I’m going small. BYOD was awesome!
We threw the idea around at MACUL 13 during lunch. Seemed like a long shot really, but that seed was planted and we made it happen today. There were lots of discussions, emails, forms, emails, and lots of supportive tweeting from my PLN, the many folks who are much more experienced in BYOD. Then the weeks passed until today.
In the days leading up to this day, I was pulled between two different ways to run the day. First was to go big and spectacular, have an extraordinarily well planned and integrated day. The second was to lay out some lessons and resources, go for a few surprises, and follow some established technology routines. I chose the latter, because it “just felt right.” The rationale came later, why over plan when I really don’t know how each device will perform and how it will really feel to run through this day? It’s one thing to plan for students using one device, but to plan for devices that I have never used before, for instance a Nook! Another shocker came later, when the Nook would run a site that the iPad would not!
As students entered, we turned on the devices right away. I showed a small Google Presentation to get the day started, including some reminders about ground rules, an agenda, and what tabs they should get logged into. I was curious about login times and compatibility with the devices. And would some not connect to our internet? We were all up and running in minutes, and I had many alternate devices on hand should someone need to switch.
To get them to think about digital citizenship, we reviewed a Prezi made by another local class, Matt Reed’s fifth graders from Walled Lake Elementary. I also wanted students to create a sequel to this, “Why Your Class Should Have A BYOD Day!” We collaboratively brainstormed by using a Google Sheet, then discussed, grouped up, and made the presentation by sharing a Google Presentation with my students (set to ‘can edit’).
After lunch I ran a backchannel on Tiger Rising Chapter 10 using Edmodo. We do this often, but not usually with everyone on. I had a student run the main computer while I read and wandered. This seemed to help engage students further. Afterwards we worked on some math games and wrapped up. I wrapped up early to avoid the situation where students dismiss early or go to safety jobs and then someone shouts, “Where’s my iPad!” and then there is nothing to do. So while we were quite some time before dismissal we packed them up, checked in all school devices, and worked on a non-technological project called Egg Crash.
Overall, the day was fun, safe, and full of learning for all. Rather than bringing all the excitement, I allowed the students to bring their excitement and gave them a safe space to explore and create.