BYOD as an approach to integrating technology in our day to day teaching and learning. We are learning lots of valuable lessons along the way.
Recently I have had many conversations with various people about creating a common "digital learning sandbox" for our teachers and students.
As it stands today we have some commonality - for example a common file sharing system for staff and students, common school email for staff and students and other aspects of both Google Apps and Microsoft's 365.
But as of yet, we have not felt the need to deploy one mandated digital platform for all our students.
Instead we have allowed the "digital learning sand box" to grow organically and in a personalized manner.
For now students and teachers choose which platform is best for them.
Increasingly I can see some limitations to this.
As more and more teachers start asking students to demonstrate their learning in a digital space I worry that managing this information will be difficult for both teachers and students.
What if every teacher gives every student the choice to choose a platform that works for them - starting in grade 8. A student can maintain a digital space/portfolio that is relevant to them and is fully transferable once they graduate.
Recently a few teachers shared with me some student projects that had been completed. Students were given the ability to choose a digital platform - many/most chose platforms that they had already established for personal use and made the crossover to "school use" (eg. Facebook, Tumblr, Blogger or Wordpress, etc.). It should be noted that some students made the perfect-ably acceptable choice to produce a "traditional" paper product.
As we continue to shine a necessary spotlight on the digital citizenship of our students (and staff) I can't help but think of how effective it is to have students freely choosing to broaden their vision of how digital spaces can be used. By inviting teachers and peers into their these digital spaces as a means to document learning, can serve to broaden the vision and raise the bar on digital citizenship..
Another benefit, as I see it, is that it can mitigate the "school life" vs. "real life" crisis that exists in so many schools today.
Of course there are many other legalities and specifics that need to be considered in this conversations. And who knows, we may move toward inviting all students into one big school learning sandbox. But in the meantime I am intrigued by how we are organically allowing students to learn and demonstrate that learning in their own digital sandbox.
Any thoughts or advice?