Exploring "Bring Your Own Technology" and Project-Based Learning

BYOT Hints

  • Search for apps that will work for a wide variety of devices.  It is easier to keep 30 students on task and to troubleshoot problems if everyone is literally on the same page.  As the students are getting more skillful at finding and using different apps, this has not been as much of an issue.  I just have to learn to be comfortable with  letting go.
  • If I were to purchase a device for my child, I would get a tablet and skip the cost of the cell phone data plans.  
  • Fun, very easy to use  for vocabulary practice  Students create their own flashcards, games and quizzes.  Check out my basic flashcards for rocks and minerals, then scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the different options for games or quizzes.
  • Sometimes what you see on a laptop or tablet device differs greatly from what students can see on their cell phones.  If possible check it out ahead of time.  
  • My students can do research using their cell phones, but the tablets, laptops, or desktops are better for making presentations.
  • Work through the project yourself ahead of time to scout out potential problems.
  • Allow twice as much time as you normally would to complete an activity, especially when using a new app.
  • Don’t try to do too much at once because it is overwhelming and you won’t enjoy it.
  • Don’t compare yourself to what other teachers are doing.  This is a journey, not a competition.
  • When setting up groups, assign a technology expert to troubleshoot problems, before telling the teacher. (“Tell three before me.”)
  • Technology is not the solution, it is a tool.  There are other tools that work.  So, breathe, make a flipbook, sing a song, watch a video, play a game, color a picture, or go outside.  Relationships are more important that the newest toys.
  • Collaborate with other teachers and copy what fits your teaching style.
  • Always have a back-up plan.  If the back-up plan involves more technology, have another back-up plan.  (The power went out at school yesterday, so I was reminded of this again.)
  • Keep a chocolate stash to handle stress when necessary.  Two Dove dark chocolate pieces make everything seem happier.  If necessary, try three.    

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