Harrison Elementary School is currently piloting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative that allows 5th grade students to bring their own personal devices for use during school hours.
Before it began, 5th grade teachers, Tami Burke and Christopher Kohn, along with technical staff member Brent Williams, interviewed all applicants via a standard interview process.
Students use their devices to lookup words and problems and use DisplayNote to share a session with their teacher and interact with other students. The BYOD initiative allows them more freedom with their approach to learning and elevates their minds to a level of individualism that was not achievable before.
The pilot started in the middle of September and is now currently in its second month. There are currently 6 members in the Tech Squad which consist of three students from each class.
Their roles include, but are not limited to: fixing a frozen device, helping with an App, problem solving and making sure the devices are well cared for and secured in a cabinet or cart.
They check in with Mr. Williams every Wednesday and Friday, after lunch, and while there, Mr. Williams will assist with any questions or difficult problems they may be having during the week.
After the completion of a successful pilot, the goal is to look at replicating this model across more classrooms throughout the District.
By allowing students the ability to bring their own devices, while also supplying district devices to those that don't have one, we are able to level the educational playing field and bring these young kids into a global environment where technology is becoming their source if leaning.
Not only does this pilot simply teach them how to use an app or draw on a board, but now that the devices are owned by the students the responsibility and maturity level has increased immensely. Students are more cautious with how they handle the devices while at the same time more open to dialog from others, like asking for or providing help.
All I can say is that there has been a lot of positive feedback from parents, staff and students. We are extremely excited to have this program taking place at Harrison.