According to Pew Research Centre, around 78 percent of children, aged 12 to 17, have a mobile phone at home, and approximately 23 percent of teens have their own tablets. Despite these numbers, only a handful of schools is taking advantage of it and encouraging their students to bring their devices. A greater number of schools would even prohibit mobile phones. This results in a situation wherein all students are well-connected with the world in every aspect of their lives, except for one: their learning community.
Schools are meant to teach students to prepare for the future. The only way to prepare them well, in this technology-dependent era, is by teaching them how to use their mobile devices for more than just their social lives.
BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. It is a classroom policy that permits students to bring their personal devices, such as mobile phones, tablets, eReaders or laptops, into the classroom. When used together with lectures and classroom activities, the BYOD policy can increase student participation, collaboration, and communication. It would also give students limitless access to resources and information. Hence, it improves the overall exchange of knowledge in the classrooms.
Slowly bring EdTech into your classroom through small gestures.
- Assign a written classroom activity that should be submitted online.
Whatever subject you may be teaching, you can introduce EdTech into the classroom. For example, for literature or English class, you can require your students to write a diary entry from the perspective of their favourite character in one of the literary works your class studied. Have them submit it as a blog post in Blogger or WordPress, complete with pictures and links.
For science or math subjects, on the other hand, you can assign students to summarise daily lessons using Twitter. Don’t forget hashtags like #iloveScienceClass.
- Assign a writing assignment with technology as the topic.
Students know a lot about technology and the internet; more than you can imagine. Encourage them to share what they know by requiring them to write about it. For younger students, simple how-to essays will do the trick. These how-to essays can be meant for grandparents or parents, such as how to set up a Facebook account, transfer music to an iPod, download games on an iPad, or how to play Angry Birds, Clash of Clans, or Draw Something. For senior students, tasks with more in-depth topics may be assigned as a research paper, such as the impact of technology in various periods in history.
- Say hello to email pals.
If your classroom materials or curricula are similar to those of schools in another city or state, you can partner with teachers in those schools so their students can exchange emails with your students. You can also set up a group of experts living in your community who can accept messages and respond to your students regarding the subject. You can also bring your students closer to math and science subjects by allowing them to keep in touch with people who use these subjects in real life, like engineers, chemists, video game designers, and astronauts.
What do you think? Go ahead and share your other ideas on how to introduce EdTech in classrooms.
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