For many teachers, incorporating technology in the classroom—especially bring-your-own-device (BYOD) or 1:1 initiatives that provide a digital learning device for each student—is intimidating. It’s new, it’s unknown, and it’s uncomfortable. Not to mention, students often know more about their devices than their teachers do, which may put teachers’ control at risk.
When Calhoun County, in Alabama, transitioned to BYOD, their teachers were no different—many were completely opposed to the initiative. But after engaging in our i21Zone professional learning and seeing the effects of technology in the classroom, it’s been a different ballgame.
By the time my fellow coaches and I finished training, Calhoun’s teachers saw the benefits of BYOD in the form of increased student participation, interest in learning activities, and engagement. In fact, one teacher told me she was initially very opposed to the initiative but has gone 180 degrees since working with Chalkable.
Here are a few common concerns we’ve heard from different schools and their surprising results:
“What about the kids who don’t have devices?” Partner or group activities like movie making, data gathering, and responding to informal assessments only require one device. This creates a perfect environment for group collaboration which is part of many new state standards. Additionally, many districts have enough devices to equip those students who do not have their own.
“It's too easy for them to cheat.” Cheating is and has always been something kids will attempt to do. It is a classroom management issue rather than a technology issue and can be avoided with several methods of prevention.
“Students will break or lose the devices.” Of the 535 iPad minis purchased in one district’s first year of 1:1 deployment, just 5 were damaged.
“I’ll lose control of my classroom.” At Calhoun, teachers now report feeling more in control because students are interested in the lesson, as they can follow along on their devices.
“My students know more about their devices then I do.” With embedded professional learning, teachers learn how to use fun and appropriate apps to enhance learning and participation.
“Students will use the devices inappropriately.” When they’re engaged in learning activities on their devices, students are spending their time making educational videos, collaborating on an app, or writing about their findings, not getting distracted with personal games or other activities.
“Am I going to be held responsible for any inappropriate conduct?” No. Based on district policies, schools do not hold individual teachers responsible if a student decides to use his or her device outside of the approved activities. These situations are typically handled in the same way non-device related discipline incidents are handled.
“I don’t have time to learn/find/create all of this stuff.” That’s what Chalkable is for!
Learn more about how Chalkable Professional Learning services can help your school transition more technology into your classrooms.