By allowing students to bring in their own devices for learning–rather than insisting that they learn both content and device in school–there is an important opportunity to connect with not just their personal lives, but their natural way of doing things.
While there are students who badly want technology and can’t afford even the $50, that doesn’t seem to be a strong argument against BYOD adoption, especially in light of what it costs—in time and money—to purchase, train, integrate, and maintain—state-funded, district-purchased, school-assigned devices. This is where schools, local organizations, and communities can step in.
Money and Learning
In the United States there can be a tendency to throw money at problems that are not fully understood. As a nation, America lags behind internationally, the “learning market” being one of the few markets proving evasive in lieu of continued effort, struggle, and spending.
Sqworl, like Delicious and Diigo, is a bookmarking tool that can be useful in the classroom. Sqworl takes a screenshot of the sites you bookmark and opens each bookmark in the same browser tab for easy navigation.
Richard Byrne demonstrates Sqworl’s visual bookmark features in his video below.
Using Tech4Learning Rubrics with Goobric, Doctopus, and the Google Classroom
“Tired of Rubistar rubrics? Want to use Goobric but don’t want to create your own rubric from scratch? In this episode, learn how to use Tech4Learning’s rubric maker to create excellent rubrics that can be used with Goobric, Doctopus, and Google classroom. Tech4Learning rubrics offer some great topics for working collaboratively, such as teamwork and cooperation. The best part is that these rubrics can easily be pasted into a Google spreadsheet for use with Andrew Stillman’s awesome Goobric extension.”
In each of the classes for which I use badges I have 24 different badges that students can earn. Each one is a “micro-assignment” which asks students to apply some concept or set of concepts we are covering in the class. Students submit their responses and if they meet the badge criteria they earn the badge. When they earn a badge they receive the points for that in their grades and also receive a badge graphic uploaded to their own personal profile which only they can see. One feature I would like to incorporate is the ability to share these badges via their social networks but I am not sure about how this would work with regard to FERPA requirements. More research on my part is needed regarding this.
If the student does not earn the badge, they are provided with detailed feedback and allowed to resubmit to try and earn the badge. They can submit as many times as they want or need to in order to earn the badge. Students need to earn a minimum of 14 badges to earn a C in the course and 18 badges to earn an A.
Of course, not all aspects of online course design require a team of specialists, a longer development time, and more funding. Some things can be done quickly, cheaply and by individuals with focused skill sets.
But technology can, when built with a deep understanding of how students learn, meet both of these needs. We can build online courses that provide students with hundreds of opportunities to test their knowledge. Using scientifically-based learning analytics, we can provide each learner with immediate, context-specific feedback. We can build software that constantly responds to each student’s cognitive and educational differences and serves up activities that address these differences.