Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Proposing a BYOD Club for a Chinese Elementary

The Thursday before Christmas, I handed a proposal to the principal of our private Chinese school. I walked into her office after hours of discussion with her, the Foreign Teacher Head, other colleagues, and (of course!) students. The proposal was for a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Club at our elementary.

While hashing out kinks at different levels in the school, I was satisfied at the progress and openness that staff from the top down as well as the students gave me throughout the process. A couple administrators informed me of questions and statements that top leaders would have. My colleagues suggested ideas along with "excuses" our leaders would have for this not to work. Students always give me what I enjoy hearing--a piece of their mind, and I mean that in a good way. The students are the ones who suggested the devices we should use and the grades that should be allowed to apply for the club. They will continue to lead the way. That is...if the top leaders approve the proposal. The elementary principal will present it at an administration meeting sometime this week or next. She sounds very confident and optimistic about it.
The team of staff who know of the plan have all asked me: What do you plan to teach the students?

Technology tools (aka websites and apps, aka #edtech) that teachers and students could utilize to collaborate, learn, and create with in subjects such as Chinese, Math, English, and any others the co-teacher and I consider worthwhile. Administrators would also be guided in methods they could use to brand the school and give it a public presence while telling its own story all at the same time. But before any of that, digital citizenship would be the prime goal for teachers and students alike. The TED talk I watched today (see below) emphasizes the importance of everyone knowing what they are getting into.

What do you think?

For those of you who have a BYOD program or are contemplating creating one, what ideas do you have from personal experience? What is something you would pass on that you didn't know beforehand or are currently learning?

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