Towards a Framework for BYOT

Earlier this week, with a colleague, I spent some time drawing on a whiteboard. "What should BYOT for a High School look like?" To be honest, I'm looking for something a bit more transformational than a casual foray into popular web-based tools. There is no shortage of theories and ideas, though, to draw from. But which can be heartfelt and embraced?

For example, the flipped classroom presents one approach. How would you transform teaching and learning from a "flipped classroom" approach to a high school education? There are many ways to do this. I suppose encouraging secondary teachers to develop their own content, make it available, transform classroom strategies is one way. The flipped classroom has a lot of adherents, as well as detractors. What's my opinion? It is but one of many approaches that may engage students, reinvigorate teachers...and any approach that accomplishes that is worth careful consideration.

Another might be to emphasize personalized learning, that idea that students may choose their own path to seize the prize of learning. This EdWeek article describes it in this way:

In today’s digital marketplace, students of all ages can create experiences tailored just for them. When a teenager searches for movies to watch, an online film site can provide suggestions based on past viewing history. Music lovers can create personalized playlists for everything from a workout in the gym to a study session. And when children play video games, they can choose a variety paths—based on their interests and skill levels—toward slaying a dragon or defeating an enemy.

Then many of these same students walk into their classrooms and sit at their desks to absorb one-size-fits-all lessons or, if they’re lucky, instruction aimed at the high-, mid-, or low-level learner. And in many cases, there is little, if any, technology integrated into those lessons.


Or, perhaps, creating electronic portfolios may be another avenue. Certainly, the tools available to help students create electronic portfolios they can take with them when they leave the bounds of school are ample and available. If your school is a GoogleApps for Education (GAFE) school or district, then the tools are readily available. I am often amazed at what we now have available, what we would have paid much to have and did 15 to 20 years ago, all of it going un-used. It is as if once wikis like Google Sites and the venerable Wikispaces became available for free, they were disdained for use in schools.

There are many more models and approaches, all ranging from the Levels of Teaching Innovation (LOTI) to SAMR and more that involve using technology to fundamentally transform schools, or, at the very least, make incremental change more palatable.

But awareness of these edtech frameworks and powerful tools must find some expression in a framework for BYOT. Simply, the question remains, how do you help teachers make the shift from where they are now (e.g. technology as a distraction) to BYOT? It is a question I will undoubtedly spend some time researching, reflecting on, and conversing with others. For now, I would like to empty my hands and mind of the past approaches and tools available, and ask, What is it that I really want for BYOT implementation? What is it that these teachers want? And, what does the organization want that is implementing BYOT?

These 3 questions will help select the path to take. In the meantime, how would you approach this question?



pshircliff said…
I worked on getting BYOT in my school this past year to no avail. I will keep at it. I have also been doing ePortfolios with my classes for 2 years using GAPPs, but am the only one in my District. I still have a question in my mind about portfolios. How much storage space (cloud based & free) does a students k-12 portfolio require. Will it be the same "service" at the end as they started in the beginning?

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