Continuing with my final exams begun in the previous post…
The year now winding up here in our overly-large school district has been jammed full of new and change, at least when it comes to technology available to teachers. Possibly too much new and change. It’s as if we saved up all the stuff we should have been doing over the past four or five years and unleashed it all at one time.
The project that I had the highest hopes for was the somewhat radical (for our very traditional administration) change in policy that allows and even encourages students to bring their own devices to school (BYOD)* and use them openly. As opposed to what kids have been doing all along but having to keep things hidden.
Although a few of our schools have embraced the concept and are very positive about making the concept work, most seem to be moving into it much more tentatively. Some made no progress at all, and too many of the people I talk to seem very much afraid of both the kids and the technology.
However, it’s a start. Maybe not as much of an impact as I was hoping for but still a start.
Maybe, after this year of discussing the idea and gaining a little experience, more teachers and administrators will be more willing to consider how they can make instructional use all those smartphones, tablets and laptops that don’t look like the computer equipment in the lab down the hall. And are not under their total control.
I still believe that this approach to technology use in schools is inevitable and eventually we’ll all wonder why anyone made such a big fuss over it. But I learned this school year that around here, significant progress is going to a little longer than I would like.
I’m just not sure I’m learning to be any more patient about it.
* Some of our schools elected to use the phrase “personally owned devices” (PODs) instead due to the negative connotation of the traditional BYO meaning.