Friday, January 6, 2012

Caught in the Middle of a Growing Trend

Well, Bring Your Own Technology/Device movement is certainly picking up pace!  JD and I were contacted by the second reporter in a month writing a whitepaper... all the while working on a book chapter on the same topic.  The concept is on most Ed Tech Trends list that has floated through my Twitter feed.  I expect to see the idea in mainstream media by the end of the year.

In all the conversations we've had lately a few themes keep rising to the surface...

  1. BYOT is about student learning.  Developing young people who ASSESS their learning need, EVALUATE tools to meet the need and successful USE the tool is our learning objective.
  2. By comparison, BYOT is not about saving money.  Initiatives may (and I do mean may - remains to be proven) create cost savings down the road but the first years out will see expenses based on equity of access/choice financial support and infrastructure improvements.
  3. Teachers do not resist change as much as educational reform pundits try to make us think they do.  We expected push-back and it didn't arrive.  In fact, most teachers say BYOT is a relief... no longer are they responsible for push-button training on tools (example: in the past if you are going to grade PowerPoint presentations on form and function you needed to spend at least a class period teaching PowerPoint).  Students are responsible for meeting the academic objective with appropriate tools.  
  4. Students are capable of making intelligent, creative and appropriate choices.  File under #iceiscold but many "innovations" in education continue to revolve around adults making choices in the name of students.  The conversations this year held between students - faculty - and IT about learning reflect a deeper reflection of self-awareness: weaknesses, strengths, successes and needs for improvement.  
To borrow the analogy from my previous post, we're just sowing seeds at Brebeuf this year.  I look forward to watching Bring Your Own Technology programs grow and develop over time.   

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