“Should I really be focusing on tools when thinking about technology in my BYOT classroom?” asked a colleague recently. “I want to provide guidance to teachers, but I’m not sure I’m headed in the right direction.”
“Of course not!” I laughed. “WHY are we focusing on BYOT/BYOD tools? Instead, how can we rediscover our ‘happy thought’ for using tech to kindle deeper learning?” Knowing how to approach BYOT in schools is important.
Implementation of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs in school districts has exploded since last year, spreading from 22 percent to 56 percent. BYOD primarily shows up in high school grades (84 percent), followed by middle school grades (74 percent). Read more.
Just this morning, a friend said to me, “My superintendent called me in to do a 1 to 1 initiative. He thought we’d be excited, but the truth was, we were horrified.”
“Why were you horrified?” I asked him.
“We hadn’t done the Simon Sinek thing…you know, start with why!”
In this short article, we talk about 9 tech tools or apps that can explode traditional learning, but they won’t do you a bit of good if you haven’t spent time on WHY BYOD. If you need a checklist to get that conversation going, be sure to check my BYOT Article Roundup.
Tool #1 — Google Keep
Students often struggle for a quick way to capture information off the web. Why not use Google Keep, a simple, easy collaborative note-taking app available on the Web, and on Android or iOS mobile devices?
Collaborative scribing of key points in a conversation, academic to-do’s are possible.
Tool #2 — RemindHQ
Teachers need an easy way to keep in touch with students that doesn’t put them in danger or violate anyone’s privacy, setting up situations for inappropriateness. RemindHQ is one tool to facilitate that.
Tool #3 — Google Classroom
Looking for a drop-dead simple way to connect with students and facilitate interactive dialogue and management of documents? Google’s Classroom option transcends and simplifies the complexities of learning and document management, enabling masterful access of shared student/teacher GoogleDocs.
Tool #4 — Google Sites
With Google Sites, you can create the virtual classroom you always dreamed of and maintain it without problems or issue.
Tool #5 — Google Slides Newsletters
Now that you have a Google Sites-powered virtual classroom web site that is easily edited and added onto, invite parents to read your GoogleSlides eNewsletter. With Google Slides powering your eNewsletter, you can embed videos, pictures and content while turning it into a full-page readable document. Forget Scribd and Issuu for use in your classroom, instead relying on the Google Suite of tools to create powerful ways to share ideas, content, and media. Responsive media design makes Sites the natural choices.
Tool #6 — Explain Everything
Need to create engaging videos that show rather than tell? Then the Explain Everything app — available for Android, iOS devices, as well as the web — makes creating narrated slideshows and videos easy. With built-in sharing to myriad cloud storage options, you can’t go wrong with such a powerful tool.
Tool #7 — Google Forms
Submitting forms is only a small part of what you and your students can use Google Forms for. From engagement to reflection, collecting great ideas from the community, to data analysis of responses using the Explore feature recently announced from Google, you will find powerful uses available to you.
Tool #8 — Screencastify
Need to make screencasts quickly and publish them to your unlimited GoogleApps for Education Drive account? Then, Screencastify is the tool for you! As a veteran, 1-take screencaster, I find fancier tools just get in the way. Screencastify enables you to capture your computer’s entire screen, or one tab.
Tool #9 — Web Whiteboard
Students often are frightened by a blank page, but inspired to share and connect by the blank whiteboard. What pictorial conversations could your students have around what they are learning and share that?
How are you exploding traditional learning in your BYOT/BYOD classroom? Remember, if you haven’t answered your WHY, no amount of tools will make a difference.