Georges Vanier Elementary is a wireless campus…an increasing number of students are bringing their wireless devices to school…any staff members have a keen interest in technology and how it can be effectively integrated into teaching and student learning…all the ingredients of a “perfect storm”.
BYOD – bring your own device – may have seemed a thing of the future, but after my experience a few days ago, I realize that the time for BYOD might be now!
While on supervision a few days ago, I had a conversation with a group of girls from several of our grade 5/6 classes. I noticed one of the girls with an iPod touch in her hand. I asked her if she used her iPod in class and it was clear that she thought she was in trouble for having the device at school. Once she realized that I was genuinely interested in how the iPod could be used in class to enhance learning, the student began to share that her teacher did in fact know about the iPod and that she was permitted to listen to music during art or when class assignments had been completed. I continued to probe. Had she used her iPod as a calculator? Had she looked up the definition of word she didn’t know? Had she gone online to answer one of the many nagging questions that spontaneously pop up everyday in the classroom? All of these activities would have been easy to do in a wireless environment, but she hadn’t yet made the leap.
Then I discovered that 6 of the 8 girls in the group I was speaking with had iPod touches. They all began to pull them out (now that they knew I wasn’t going to confiscate them :-). What did I learn? Well, besides the interesting fact that girls like to carry their iPod touches on the inside of their boots, I learned that we may be closer to BYOD than I would have thought – close enough that it may be time to start conversations with teachers and parents regarding how they feel about opening the parameters and allowing students to openly use their own wireless devices.
Students are armed and ready. Are we?