Our task this week was to partner up with someone in the class and create a blog post that discusses the advantages and disadvantages of the use of a particular tool or resource in the classroom. I partnered up with Katy Franks (@FranksKatyrose) and together we created a series of emails that are being sent between a parent and the principal. In the emails they are discussing the introduction of a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) program to the school and the concerns a parent may have surrounding the use of a program like this.
Scenario: the school has recently introduced a bring your own technology program in which students are encouraged to bring their own devices to be used at school during work time. You the principal of said school open your email one day to the following.
Email from parent
Last week, my child brought home a note detailing the bring your own technology program. After reading said note I have a few concerns. First of all I am worried that my child will not be on task during the work time as he has several games installed on his device. How will the teacher monitor the students are on task? Secondly, what if I am not comfortable sending technology to school as I am worried it could become damaged or stolen? Would this affect his learning? And finally, if I do send technology how can I be sure it returns in the same condition it left?
Principal’s reply to email from Joe the parent
Good afternoon, Joe.
You have brought up some valuable concerns that I am sure other parents have as well. To address your first concern, how the students productivity is monitored is up to the individual class teacher. For example, a teacher may use a strike system to ensure students are on working. If the students are off task three times then they lose the privilege of using technology during the work period and would have to earn back the privilege of bringing their own technology. We are also looking into using a program called NetSupport School to help with the monitoring of on task behaviour.
In terms of being comfortable sending technology, the school has several laptops and iPads available for students to use. The purpose of this program is to free up the computers for the younger grades and for students who do not own their own computer. However this does not mean that a student will be made to work without a computer when it is needed. For students in the older grades we are trying to encourage them to take responsibility for their learning and feel this program would help with this. As mentioned in the letter that was sent home,if you choose to send your child to school with their computer they are responsible for the care.
I hope I addressed your concerns and answered your questions. If you have any further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to ask!
2nd email from Joe the parent
Good evening, Seamus.
I appreciate your speedy reply. It was both helpful and informative. However, I still have some concerns. I am slightly confused as to the purpose of the program. What are the benefits? How will it help my son with his learning? What will he along with other students be getting out of bringing their own technology to school?
Principal reply to 2nd email
Good day, Joe.
Thank you for your question. As I mentioned earlier the purpose of this program is to free up the laptops and iPads for the younger students but it also goes beyond that. As a school we have a goal to help our students develop digital citizenship. Digital citizenship can be defined as developing the skills and knowledge to use the Internet and technology effectively and responsibly. This can include topics such as online etiquette, digital security, and how to use the internet is a productive way as well as many more. All aspects of digital citizenship are important to us as a school and our goal is that by allowing students to bring their own technology they can become familiar with it and learn how to effectively and efficiently use it. Our plan is to teach students these skills in hopes of creating positive digital citizens who can pass their knowledge down to future generations. I have included a some links to websites that I found to be helpful when I was first learning about digital citizenship.
Take a look at them and if you have any more questions or concerns I will be more than happy to help you!