For “Tech Trends” I was asked to create an artifact that shows my understanding of how an emerging technology could be used in the classroom. After researching BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programs I chose to create an activity using a well-known statistics lesson called, The M&M Experiment. In a BYOD environment, students utilize their own personal technology devices in the classroom rather than relying on school-issued devices. This allows me as a teacher to utilize every cell phone, tablet, and laptop that my students already bring to class to help enhance learning. In the M&M experiment, I capitalized on the flexibility of mobile devices to allow students to collaborate using Google Docs, Google Spreadsheets, and Study Blue. In this activity, I have students use Study Blue to create vocabulary flashcards. Study Blue allows students to interact and personalize information in a way they’ve never been able to before, by adding voice memos, pictures, and other information to vocabulary cards. The program also allows me as the teacher to share information directly with my students, which means I can easily differentiate learning for both groups and individual students. Google Docs and Google Spreadsheets both allow me to create digital forms that can be edited by an individual student or the whole class as I did with this activity. Using electronic formats allows me to check up on students work and give feedback at any time of the day and allows students to ask questions and submit work at any time. Using a shared Google Spreadsheet for this activity gives me the ability to keep students engaged, as well as quickly gather data from the entire class in a fraction of the time it would take to complete using the whiteboard. Having the data in electronic form gives me much more flexibility to manipulate the data in different ways, to create different scenarios and questions for students to work through.
This activity is just one of many examples of how a BYOD can change how we approach learning. Technology not only gives teachers more tools to reach their learners; it also gives students more control over their learning. Using the SAMR Model developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura, this activity would fall within the redefinition level of technology use as it allows for the creation of new tasks that were previously inconceivable. While it is not always necessary to reach this level every time we utilize technology in the classroom, it should always be the level we aim for.
You can view my artifact at the web address below: