BYOD Surveys for secondary teachers, students and parents
New iTips for Teachers episode on BYOD– still in construction
Thoughts so far …
Android v iPad, Netbook v MacBook, Windows Phone v iPhone – schools are potentially inundated with mobile devices. It is not a matter of reaching a 1:1 ratio of computer to student anymore, it is realizing that most of our students are already working at a ratio of 3:1 (three devices per student) or even higher when you put gaming devices into the equation.
Do school’s need to supply computers anymore?
The traditional ICT in education approach has been for the school to provide their students with access to desktops and, if they are lucky, laptops in class sets and most recently tablet devices some schools. Some schools went down the 1:1 path very early and provided their students and staff with laptops. The type of hardware and software has generally been determined by the network administrator as it has been their responsibility to maintain an ever increasing demand on these technical resources. This has generally resulted in every student and teacher having the same type of device and in most cases it has been a device based on a Windows platform.
This model of supply was created at a time when most households didn’t have their own computers and schools felt the responsibility of providing Internet and computer access. Microsoft captured the corporate and education PC market and offered some excellent deals. They also dominated the market for network software so running Windows became the obvious choice for most schools, businesses and homes. The teaching of ICT in schools became the teaching of Microsoft Office applications.
Since then, Adobe apps, Google apps, Web 2 apps and Apple apps on a wide range of devices have made strong inroads into the education market and schools have realized that teaching MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint is not the be all and end all of ICT integration. The mobile device revolution lead by the Apple iPod, iPhone and now iPad has resulted in many students having multiple (state of the art) mobile devices either in their pocket, locker or at home while in many cases being forced to construct their learning on out dated desktops machines with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
Most students have them
Most students have at least one personal mobile device that allows them to interact with Internet based learning tools. If it is a laptop or a tablet and other students are not taking them to school, then they are likely to stay unused until the students is at home. If it is a smart phone then it is likely to remain on silent in the students pocket or under the desk to avoid breaking school rules.
The concept of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is about students bringing in their mobile devices and using them in the classroom as a learning tool. It is about utilizing a resource that already exists and relocating the device from under the desk where it is likely to being misused to being on top of the desk where it can be used to enhance learning experience.
Ray Fleming, the Industry Market Development Manager for Education in Microsoft Australia, is a regular blogger on ICT in Education topics and in a recent blog about BYOD he wrote
‘… students and teachers now have better and cheaper technology at home than ever before. A spot check of the average 15 year-old’s school bag is likely to reveal a heady mix of smartphones, laptops, games consoles, iPods, cameras, and more power packs and cables than your average branch of Harvey Norman.’
Is BYOD a headache for the network administrator?
After spending 10 years establishing an outstanding network infrastructure for the amazing innovative teaching and learning that occurs at Brighton Grammar School in Melbourne, David Young has moved to my school Strathcona and has upgraded our network to accommodate our use of iPads as well as a the potential of a future BYOD approach to learning and teaching.
[Insert Interview with David]
Note David’s view that yes BYOD can be a headache to set up but schools are places of education and going BYOD should be an education based decision not purely as technical decision.
Is BYOD a cost saver?
Schools can’t afford to be constantly upgrading computers. It is expensive enough to maintain a reliable network with a reasonable Internet connection, let alone replacing desktops and laptops every 3 or 4 years. If students utilized their own devices at school it would potentially ease the financial pressure on schools in the long run.
In the short term, there would be needs to be an increase in network budget to allow for a Internet pipe that will cope with so many more devices on the network. Not to mention the extra wireless points required and the upgrade to the WiFi system to cope with the extra pressure.
Schools need to be planning ahead for the reality of an increased demand on mobile connectivity. Even if BYOD is not the answer and a more controlled approach to mobile use is chosen, the demand on the WiFi network is going to be inevitable.
Preparing the classroom teachers
Of course BYOD by its nature means that students will be bringing in a wide range of different operating systems and software applications. This is a challenge for most networks that are not necessarily equipped to support a wide range of devices. It is also a headache for teachers in the classroom who (in many cases) are struggling to cope with integrating one system let alone try and cater for an unending array of digital options.
Students are still expected to handwrite their final year examinations, so naturally handwritten notes and projects are still the preferred learning and assessment styles. A BYOD solution may sound like an ideal answer for the School administration, but how do those in the coal face (the classroom teachers) feel. There can be a lot of anxiety tied up with the use of ICT in the classroom. Anxiety about the technology failing is one thing but much of what the average teacher fears is a lack of control. Having a wide range of devices in the classroom could be seen as a nightmare situation for teachers who feel they need to know what each students is doing and how they are doing it.
Even after an education digital revolution that has been in existence for over 10 years, many classroom teachers are still struggling to come to grips with how they should and in effect why they should integrate ICT. The teacher at the front of the classroom doing lots of talking and referring to a single textbook still appears to be the predominate teaching style for many teachers. It is how they were taught and it worked for them when they were students. This style of teaching allows the teachers to be in control of the ‘leaning’ and doesn’t require much if any ICT integration. When ICT is used in this type of learning environment it often means moving the class to the computer laboratory where again everything can be controlled.
Many schools are now providing their teachers with tablet devices and allowing network access to teachers personal smart phones. Giving access to the teachers in advance of given access to the students has been an effective approach for many schools as they go through this mobile technology revolution.
One teacher at my school recently told me that the iPad has totally changed the way she integrates ICT. Previously she struggled with technology and saw ICT integration as a chore rather than a benefit, but now she says she can’t teach without her iPad.
Next time to see a colleague in action demonstrating teh more traditional teacher centered style of teaching, or even when you catch yourself doing likewise, have a look at what is happening subversively under the desk. More often then not, a few students at a time will be discreetly accessing their phone hoping that the teacher won’t see. Yes in some cases the student will be texting a friend (who is often in the same classroom – in my day we passed notes) or checking in on Facebook. However don’t be surprised to find that students are actually doing things like looking up a language translator, accessing a dictionary, doing a wikipedia search, looking up relevant website or texting their ‘brainy friend’ to try and understand what is being taught. In many schools this is highly risky behaviour as the students know if they get caught learning this way hey could loose access to their lifeline (their phone) for the rest of the day.
A BYOD policy brings the smart phone from under the desk to on top of the desk in full view of everyone. Less non-relevant texting and Facebooking is likely to occur and more opportunity for students to access online learning resources results without the need to move to another room. School that like to control everything can also provide network access to the students devices and then filter and monitor what goes on. In many cases the students will refer back to their 3G accounts to avoid detection and restrictions.
But they might record my teaching
One argument I’ve heard against the open use of smartphones in the classroom is that a student may use the camera and microphone on the camera to record the teacher against their will. The reality is that just about every modern digital device has a camera and microphone to potentially record the teacher. If that is a big concern, then the teacher would need to ban all desktops and laptops as well.
An AUP is vital
One approach that many schools are taking is to build and share an acceptable user policy that becomes the basis of a thorough education campaign on Digital Citizenship. This policy should clearly state that no one should be filmed or photographed without their consent and permission should always be sort prior to publishing online anyone’s image or comments.
Before a BYOD approach can be considered a well-developed Acceptable User Policy built by teacher, parent and student representatives is essential.
Just for senior students?
Some argue that parents of primary age students and those in the early years of secondary school should not have the pressure of a BYOD approach. Parents don’t need the financial or emotional pressure of providing a personal phone or tablet for students at these ages. There is also a strong argument that students below Year 10 should be exposed to a wide variety of hardware and software to prepare them for future life long learning. By the time students are in Year 10, 11 & 12 they are likely to be more prepared for a BYOD approach and are likely to appreciate the flexibility and freedom to work with the digital tools they feel most comfortable using.
The reality is that students already have the devices and are using them constantly for communication and networking with friends and family outside of school and in many cases secretly at school. The question is whether school networks and individual teachers are prepared or are willing to be prepared for students to openly bring their own devices and use them to enhance their learning?
Interesting discussion on Tablet use & BYOD from a Victorian educator’s email list …
Kevork Krozian (Ringwood SC) …
If I may ask a very broad question, is anyone across recent research
covering the impact of iPads and apps in learning
achievement/improvement at any level ( primary, secondary, tertiary ) ?
Specifically, I am wondering if there is a control group of any type such
as alternate tablets, mobile devices, netbooks, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro
Additionally I am wondering if a baseline is used in the study such as ”
Both groups, control and iPad users entered the study at VELS level x. At
the end of the study the control group was at y and the iPad users were at
z on the VELS or any other measurement used”.
Generalized findings such as students showed improvement in confidence
with the use of technology or could read better ( than what ? not having
any technology or having a laptop or working in labs ? ) will not be as
It is a topic that has come up in discussion and I am looking for both
research as well as anecdotal evidence from schools on the iPad journey if
I may please.
This study isn’t quite what you are looking for but you may be interested.
Good luck Kevork on finding valid education research. Very little is valid
in the sense that double blind trials are almost non-existent and the use of
control groups rare.
Virtually all education research is anecdotal in terms of evidence, and thus
invalid in terms of true research.
Ziad Baroudi (Avila College)
Many argue that validity in the sense used by scientists cannot exist in most areas of educational research. I once read something written by Seymour Papert in which he says that something such as “using a computer” is not a single variable we can study while keeping all else constant. The whole point of using a computer is that it changes everything.
Even when iPads have been around for a long time and meta-research is available on their “effect”, we will be looking at an average “effective size” that brings together all kinds of different uses of the device. Two studies, one hugely successful and one hugely unsuccessful, may result in an average effect size that is close to zero. It would be more useful to look into the details of the successful study to see what practices we can adopt.
Therese Keane (Swinburne University)
Last year I researched the use of iPads in Year 7 at one school, and
Netbooks in Year 9 at another school. I looked at how the device was being
used by students in each subject, their thoughts and perceptions,parents
were also quizzed and teachers interviewed. Is this the sort of thing you
are after? My paper has been accepted (Double blind reviewed) and will be
published in the upcoming conference proceedings for the ACEC12 Perth
Dr Therese Keane
Really interesting discussion. You make a great point Ziad.
The barometer I guess for many years has been John Hattie with his extensive work on “effect size” with 2 groups holding everything else as constant as possible except the one difference.
Quoting : The most prominent meta-meta-analyst in education is probably John Hattie, whose work draws on “a total of about 800 meta-analyses, which encompassed 52,637 studies, and provided 146,142 effect sizes […] these studies are based on many millions of students” (Hattie, 2009; 15) – http://www.learningandteaching.info/teaching/what_works.htm
Actually I recently compiled a long list of resources trying to separate digitization from eLearning – see http://delicious.com/kkrozian
I would be interested to hear further about what learning actually takes place rather than what application is used. The paper mentioned by Trudy is really worthwhile and I recommend people have a look at it as it does try to balance all the views.
I would also be very interested to hear from schools who have gone iPad 7 – 12 and how they have managed delivery of those studies that require more than what iPads have delivered to date such as VCE IT, media and existing web based flash based resources such as in LOTE, Maths, that have not been upgraded to date.
Are any schools using remote desktop from the student iPads to teach any of these classes ?
Hi Kevork – a very interesting topic.
For a range of reasons it is not common for a pure experimental model (treatment and control group etc) to be used in educational settings. Plus, for almost anything involving new technology and students there is a massive Hawthorne effect – in broad terms students (and teachers) feel appreciated because they have been given some new toy and some other students haven’t, and this affects their responses. Much of the derived effects have to be obtained from data obtained in real classrooms (with all the extraneous variables that involves) by removing other variables statistically. It’s messy.
On top of this there is another question that needs to be considered (in my view anyway). As well as investigating “does this approach work?” we also need to consider “does this approach produce better outcomes than spending the equivalent amount in some other way?” ie an opportunity cost approach.
The question is not as simple as it looks. For example, a school could invest $1 000 000 a year in ICT or instead hire about 17 MORE teachers. Which would produce the best outcome? Could you convince your school of this?
The really interesting part is when you look at one of the approaches used in some Chicago and Washington(DC) public schools, where a different way to use the money was tried. It was, simply, to pay money directly to students based on their educational performance, the so-called “pay for grades” scheme. Improve your results, get extra money – waste your time, get nothing. In some (but not all) settings this has worked remarkably well. See http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/Parenting/story?id=6371073&page=1 and http://abcnews.go.com/Business/story?id=5635010&page=1 and http://www.cps.edu/News/Press_releases/2008/Pages/09_11_2008_PR1.aspx
Despite our personal views on the ethics of paying students to achieve, if we are talking about a significant investment in something like ICT and claiming it is an efficient way to improve learning, we need to be able to argue why it is better than (say) a “pay for grades” scheme. At some stage decisions like this fall into the hands of beancounters and (to be fair to them) they want to invest money in the best way.
Your other questions re what actual learning takes place is also very worthwhile, and is the sort of thing that invites personal experiences from teachers to build an overall picture (rather than a traditional research model)
Thanks for raising these important areas of discussion,
Croydon Maroondah College
That was a great response Ken, very thought provoking! I’m off to research the Hawthorne effect now! (As opposed to the Collingwood effect where one suffers from unrealistic optimism J)
Perhaps something that has been overlooked in this discussion, rather than relatively narrow measures of academic progress, is the affect on engagement and retention. I picked up one of my old Biology text books recently in a bookshelf clear out and was stunned by the lack of graphics and colour and the predominance of huge chunks of text. My immediate thought was how did I ever learn from this? I suspect this may well be analogous to what students from a digital generation feel when we ask them to use books as the primary learning resource.
My greatest concern, and believe me there are days when I’m not a fan of 1:1, is that without reflecting what is occurring in the wider world school will simply lose its relevance to adolescents completely at home with digital devices irrespective of whether we can demonstrate specific and measurable learning improvement. In some ways that broader imperative over arches the initial question. So rather than asking ‘can we show a learning improvement by investing in those devices’ it perhaps should be ‘what can we do with the inevitable reality of these devices to maximise learning improvement.’
A little like arguing the relative utility of scrolls compared to a codex, it’s irrelevant since the world has moved on from scrolls no matter what advantages over a book they may have been perceived to have enjoyed.
My 2 cents anyhow
Tim Kitchen (Strathcona)
This has been a fascinating discussion, thank you Kevork for initiating it.
I tend to agree with Brett’s thoughts on the inevitability of small mobile devices dominating the learning environment.
When discussing the possibility of a BYOD approach for our senior students, one of our Science staff wanted to see quantitative data from a control group study with one class doing BYOD & another not. The practicalities of such a study and the potential flack from students & parents gave me some new grey hairs just thinking about it.
The quantitative & qualitative data we have gathered from student & staff who have been part of our Year 9 iPad program this year has been interesting. The general trend is that the distraction factor (access to games & messages) is initially huge but, with good class management guidelines and the developing maturity of students at this age, the education benefits outweigh the disadvantages.
BTW, I still appreciate the ancient technology of scrolls – data from scrolls has remained unchanged for thousands of years, how long does a hard disk last?
Wasn’t the original ancient Torah based on a couple of Tablets???
A great discussion indeed, and thanks to all the contributors.
Yes, the ancient Tablets did lead to the scrolls, that eventually led to
the iPad 🙂
I absolutely agree about mobile digital interactive devices including
BYODs. They are here. The hard part is how can we make the best use them.
I actually spoke to my Yr 12 SofDev class who have had Macbooks since Yr
9, and additionally iPads since Term 2 this year . I asked which device
allowed them to learn, study, interact better. The unanimous response was
I also asked which device they would use if they were forced to choose
one. You can guess the answer. There were no iPad fans because they can’t
do much with it relative to the laptops. Perhaps they are getting old
The question does come back to are any schools using iPads at Yr 7 – 12
and if so how are they delivering the curriculum with iPads at the
higher levels ?
A typo below. Unanimous choice for learning, studying and interacting by
the Yr 12s was the laptop/MacBook. None favoured the iPad.
Tim Kitchen (Strathcona BGGS)
Hi again folks,
Personally, I am leaning towards iPads as the main 1:1 device up to Year 11 but then give students the choice (including the use of smart phones, Andriod Tablets, Windows or Apple laptops) for Year 11 & 12.
A number of schools I have met with this year are also thinking along these lines. The key issue to teacher preparedness and need for well considered user guidelines.
It’s not difficult to see the advantages of the iPad with 12,000 education apps and counting, many text books now available as either eBooks or pdf, new initiatives such as Collusion being invented to aide collaborative work and annotations and the list goes on and on …
The really interesting factor is the decreasing price of Andriod tablets and the inevitable growth in that market (check this article about $81 Android tablets in Thailand) – how will Apple compete?
The problem with android as a platform for a real educational buy in is that there is no real standard device. This means from a developer point of view that you are designing apps for too many unique devices with unique settings. Until there is a standard device developers won’t be flocking to build for it. This is certainly what’s stopping me and many others.
The other problem at this point is androids openness, which infact will be its success, however perhaps too open for the school systems. No app review process results in thousands of apps getting onto the market full of security threats
I am now inclined to think the same Tim. That we adopt iPads for 7-10 then branch out to a BYOD type program for senior students.
I suspect we can expect cheaper devices to flow from both Apple and Android as we seem to have reached a point where we cannot do hugely more with screen resolution, big battery life and cloud connectivity. My guess is that we now need to watch the AppStore and integration with other devices as I notice happening now to my phone and desktop with my iPad. Good news for educators is that good apps are becoming cross platform .. albet slowly.
I am curious where the cheaper iPad-mini will slot into the education landscape. Will this be the 1:1 tool that many primary schools have been holding out for?
“Arnott, Suzanne S”
And along the lines we have been developing as well…
We are looking at iPads for the junior levels, and my techs are nutting out some processes for BYOD… for the senior levels, initially
They have got the scripting stuff sorted for Macs, PCs, iPads/iPods looking at setting up an isolated wireless spot where the students will be able to log in and allow certificates to be added to their devices
but as yet have not found a simple way to allow android devices, and have not yet looked at windows phones.
I recall Richard Olson during an Edtech Crew podcast noted that we
need to be keenly aware that student needs will eventually shift
towards more powerful devices. My thinking was that by VCE some would
eventually decide to use more powerful laptops. Each could pick what
would best suits their study, needs or budget .. or perhaps to not
pick one. I can imagine that many could still rely on their old junior
school iPad (or smart phone) for mLearning, personal organisation and
reading etc. I like how this NZ school is handling it. There are
others I can dig up and share if you like.
If we accept that different streams of students at the senior levels
will have different needs, we should not try to resolve this with a
single package to fix and accept that in the following year, we should
have prepared them for the digital citizenship and independence of
learning and working whilst away from a single corporate network.
Maybe the iPads presents us with the right timing and opportunity to
finally allow students to manage their devices and develop their
skills as independent and responsible learners if they eventually step
up to their own powerful device.
This is a very timely discussion now happing at my school, Emmaus college. So I appreciate everyone’s thoughts here and agree with the advantages of having such a mobile device in 7-9. However, there are challenges with creation of many tasks with the iPad. I don’t like the 2 finger typing situation on iPad when I am a touch typist. Let’s face it there are still tasks that are better suited to laptops or desktops. So I guess my question is if schools are now going in the direction of iPads , what planning is there for high end creation tasks? Upgrading labs, laptop trolleys?
Granted they may not be used as often but they will still be needed. This comment is obviously not directed to schools that have laptop programs in place.
Also of you had written a strategic plan for ict 2 years, my guess is, it would now be obsolete.
Interesting times ahead for all in this never ending changing landscape.
just as an aside
i find it easy to use touch typing on ipad when it is in landscape mode – in portrait mode my fingers are just too fat!
I asked my year 12 class and my unit 2 classes about iPads in vce
vast majority were in favour of BYOD – a few queried the problems for people who could not afford a D — general consensus was hang on to their iPad from 7-10 or 7-9
They all felt that iPads were good for 7-9 (even though they had not had them in 7-9) but preferred a machine with more grunt in 11 & 12 …!!
Most want eBooks but a few prefer the concept of using dead trees not electronic.
“Groves, Brett G”
The data that came back from our recent research with users is that there is a schism between device expectations, not only for staff but for students. It’s incredibly marked, there are basically two camps, Laptop and iPad. In truth both are fantastic devices for what they do, the iPad supporters are correct as are the laptop supporters and in both camps the detractors are correct. Part of the issue is an awakening to what potential ICT really has in a classroom, in a mind even. And the realisation that the church is so broad that no one format device is going to suit everything asked of it.
What else would we expect in a realm of close to infinite choice?
Choice is the answer, as educators we need to stop concentrating, IMHO, on the process to reach the end result and allow students the freedom, with guidance and support, to find that route for themselves. We need to stop specifying the output of our assessments and instead concentrate on the results. “Effectively communicate this concept to this class” versus “make a PowerPoint that explains this…” as a somewhat facile example.
We need to make not only our content device agnostic but the learning experiences we create. This biggest barrier to this is not the device but rather a deep understanding from educators of the ideas underpinning assessment, metacognition, deconstruction, reconstruction, scaffolding, intelligent risk taking etc etc. In short great educators will leverage their understanding of how humans learn and encourage students to use whatever is at hand, exactly as it should be.
Moving away from classrooms that rely on an accountancy of compliance toward a culture of real world based outcomes is the first step. Take that and the device, provided it meets the minimum of utility is of little concern.
Roland Gesthuizen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Oddly enough I can touch type on an iPad, the autocorrect seems to fix up most of my errors (And inserts a few howlers) It took me a while to learn to train my fingers to not wander. By contrast I use the text dictation of Dragon or Siri to record larger slabs of text by just talking to my device. Have done both here using just these tools, perhaps to prove a point 😉
Of course I can do better with a desktop, or laptop, but not dressed in full Medieval costume in a corner of our fair learning-centre castle or outside testing trebuchet models we built in science (as I am)
Sent from yea olde iScroll
“Arnott, Suzanne S”
Andrew, I think another option is one that allows students to Bring or Borrow… so if they can’t afford an appropriate device to do the job the school should have a bank which can be borrowed for longer terms. That way they are not missing the opportunities for developing skills with a range of devices which will always be useful in the workforce. With the majority of students bringing their own, you would hope the capital outlay is not prohibitive
Head Of Learning eLearning
Thomas Carr College
Lots of interesting thoughts here, for me the thought of tablets from 7-10 and laptops for VCE work is better.
I wonder if an amalgam of BYOD and School Specified can be the best of both worlds. So for example at year 7-10 students get to use an iPad at 11-12 students are to choose between one of 3 devices Tablet, Laptop(PC or Mac)
I have been watching the Windows 8 Tablet discussion and am impressed with the offering from Microsoft.
I think of bigger issue then the device is teaching staff to be multilingual platform agnostic.
If we go to a BYOD plan how do we know that every student will use the same application to create a movie or annotated visual display.
Will staff be expected to teach students the apps first then the content.
Or should staff ask students to develop a task and use whatever tool that the student is comfortable with.
Sometimes I think application lists whilst allowing for a level playing field remove that creativity and problem solving skill from our students.
On a side note
We are experimenting with Citrix and windows server 2012 cloud solutions at the moment to see which will extend the current functionality of our 1:1 ipad program, specifically we are looking for the Upload to website feature without the need to WebDAV.
Windows 2012 has advertised that it will integrate Dropbox and SkyDrive into its system and any student drives can be synced with their Dropbox or SkyDrive accounts.
Then using the ipad to control that cloud instance the upload would occur through the browser instance chosen.
These cloud solutions also give students access to older flash based websites as we wait for HTML5 to be integrated into the sites.
Any way these are my Random Thoughts as we approach the weekend.
Head Of Learning eLearning
Thomas Carr College
this is a great discussion!
Do we really care if every student is using the same app? same software?
it is the learning that goes with attempting the task that is important.
More and more I am teaching less and less about how to use software.
As I say to my students – if i teach you how to use this software, buy the time you get out of school all of this learning will be COMPLETELY out of date.
So instead i will teach the concepts of what it can do and I will show you how to do it in this version if you cannot figure it out your self. BUT I want you to learn how to learn software yourself.
Thus when something changes or better stuff appears then you can use it by teaching your self from resources e.g. the net, the manuals, “books”, ‘ring a friend’ etc
(Having taught IDM as well) I also give credit where a student can show someone else how to use something – I call it displaying a deeper knowledge and I consciously praise for doing that.
Learning at ‘the point of need to know’ or ‘just in time’ learning is far more purposeful and provides great incentive.
Very few other subjects change so much on a yearly basis as does ours, so we get to be leaders and innovators in learning and teaching in an ever-changing environment.
I like the resource bank concept for less financial students. I have also looked at what to do with laptops and iPads that get handed back at the end of the lease – students do not want them – and these would be able to be used in a resource bank. Less capital outlay!!
Back to supervising two maths tests in one period – at least it makes last period on a friday more fun ; for me ;-p
Very interesting discussion Brett that I tend to agree with.
With the right pedagogy it doesn’t matter which tool is used. Either tool
provides the opportunity for great learning by:
– allowing students to connect globally to add authenticity to their work
by pursuing real world issues and areas of interest
– providing a device for personalised learning and hence high engagement
– providing a student choice of multimedia to explore, research, think,
synthesise, analyse, evaluate, communicate and express ideas in high
quality products – providing a means of expressing their ideas
opinions, arguments and evidence-based reasoning collaboratively.
The challenge occurs when teachers teach in the old ways using these tools
– trying to force the tool to fit last century’s classrooms and curriculum
I know we agree it is the learning and not the device that matters. Some
devices do not allow particular learning to take place at present unless
other strategies are found such as remote desktop to alternate
devices/machines. Has an audit been done to cover this as schools consider
their decisions ?
In addition, in our discussion I think we are focussed on elearning across
the board. How about specialist subjects such as IT, Vis Com, Multimedia
I know there are schools that are for example iPad Yr 7 – 12 or even P – 12.
How are they delivering the curriculum to these specialist subjects ?
If we are talking about sending these students to labs or even building more
labs ( forward to the 1990s ) what happens to the 24/7 anytime anywhere
delivery model ?
In endorsing what Trudy has said I would quote Stephen Heppell from
” As Stephen Heppell noted in his preface to ICT, Ped-a-gogy, and the
Curriculum: Subject to change:
..we continually make the error of subjugating technology to our present
practice rather than allowing it to free us from the tyranny of past
The hard part is the rationale, the mapping, the justification of new
practices against actual learning, higher order thinking and achievement
rather than engagement, collaboration and ICT rich environments for their
own sake. Some of this falls into the rhetoric of the education improvement
industry without understanding the learning. How do we know we are learning
? There are standards and performance criteria we measure against at every
level in every subject.
A number of the references I have enumerated in
http://delicious.com/kkrozian cover this distinction between good and bad
We are having much the same discussion at our school with similar thoughts about iPads at the junior levels followed by BYOD laptops for the senior levels (perhaps hang onto your old iPad) and a mix of some COWS (netbooks/laptops on wheels) and Labs (arts/tech/music etc) to fill a few curriculum gaps.
The move towards an ICT provision and support model that is student centered, increasingly student managed and learning based is not going to be easy. The computing needs of different VCE students will vary profoundly and any attempt to mandate one solution will very likely disappoint some and over-provision others.
We may have to let go of some sacred notions, spaces and network practices such as the central storage of student files on school hosted file servers. Whilst it is a move away from the familiar old enterprise-factory model, if we are serious about skilling independent learners and digital citizens then we need to move on beyond controlling every minute setting and aspect of an iPad device, apps that can be used, what books can be installed on an ereader etc ..
Andrew raises a good point. We should back off teaching students how to solve a problem by mandating a specific tool or strategy and instead support them with the necessary horizontal, vertical scaffolding and help showcase good practice. They will very probably surprise us with their innovation and creativity. Inspiration should be the new ceiling, not our hardware plans, application lists or network rules.
Roland Gesthuizen | eLearning Leader