In a recent post, I pointed to places within the Common Core (CCSS) that beg for teachers to design activities that integrate collaborative technology, especially using the Internet, into lessons for students as early as 6th grade.
This is the second of four blog posts addressing a few of the most common reasons teachers cite as to why connected classrooms are a good idea in theory, but not something they can implement:
I can’t take them online during school because the school-issued computers are a problem.
This excuse can also appear in a variety of related statements.
- They take too long to long on.
- The computer labs are always booked.
- The right software isn’t installed.
- The laptops always crash.
- Our network is painfully slow and everything is blocked anyway.
- I have 25 kids and there are only 12 seats in the lab.
- My kids don’t know how to use those machines.
The answer to all of the tech-based excuses is easy, and it seamlessly includes the un-connected students. BYOD: bring your own device. Those who do have a personal electronic device are allowed – encouraged and instructed – to use this device educationally. Those without a device of their own and those whose devices aren’t well suited to this particular task simply make the best of the school-issued computers or partner with someone else.
The most magical thing about BYOD is not the fact that suddenly the school’s connectivity issues become a mute point; the magical thing is the way students to begin to see their own personal electronic devices in a new light because it has Drive as well as Snapchat. When students begin creating and sharing folders with each other to practice their evaluative skills while selecting prom dresses or colleges, you know you’ve offered them a valuable 21st Century skill.
Read yesterday’s post about building supports to connect your students who are not online at home, and chime in.
What other impediments keep you from using collaborative technology with your students?