I love the idea of students in secondary classrooms bringing their own devices to class to use for collaborating, research, functional tools, etc. However, BYOT cannot function well without some crucial factors:
- Multi-platform applications. No app, no matter how great, can be effective if it only works on iPod. Needs to work on any device
- Extras for students who do not have their own. This may require 3-5 extra iPods to be checked out in many cases
- Clear expectations of appropriate use
- Bandwidth. Nothing will derail a good BYOT session like poor wi-fi signals
- Tasks that are clearly defined, and highly engaging
- Small groups that can help each other with the task at hand
- Alternate paths to solving common problem. App, web, texting, etc.
- Flexibility for students to find best ways to accomplish the tasks
- Evaluation of success. Could be as simple as students tweeting research results
- Patience. BYOT is like herding cats. Successful teachers paint the goal clearly and assist students as they move through the task.
What else? I’d love your opinion!