Wednesday, September 2, 2015

BYOD for Family Life


Today's BYOD training session with our four Family Life teachers was such fun! We began our learning with an overview of digital citizenship expectations and how to explain them to students of various ages. I used the image above from the Elk Grove Unified School District blog page to simplify the conversation into four categories: Cyberbullying, Digital Footprint, Protecting Privacy and Intellectual Property. This led to a sidebar conversation of how to use the advanced search features of Google to locate images that are free to use or modify (Intellectual Property). There were several "ah-ha!" moments before we even began our platform training!

The training theme was BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and my focus as a trainer was to provide resources that traveling teachers could use in any classroom, with any students, on any device. So many times I find teachers equating "BYOD" with iPad apps, but most students are bringing their cell phones to school, not iPads! I find it challenging sometimes to find an app that is "device agnostic" (thanks, Heather, for the catch-phrase!). With that in mind, I focused the training on web-based applications that could be engaging, yet relative to the content being taught.

Our first tool was Kahoot, which we explored as students and teachers. If you haven't explored this tool, it's a "must-have" for student engagement, allowing the class to individually respond to questions in a timed, game-based format. All the Family Life teachers created their own Kahoots and learned how to share with one another - it was exciting to see how many Kahoots were publicly available (we pushed it over to 3000.2K in our training today!)



Our next tool was Answer Garden, a quick and easy way for students to respond to a teacher-generated question with all the answers creating a word cloud. We brainstormed some common first week of school questions like "What worries you most about middle school?" and "If you were being bullied, who would you tell?" We also talked about how to use the url shortener Bitly to create a concise URL for students to type into their phone's web browser.


We finished our session by exploring Padlet where the teachers shared their thoughts about today's training.


It was a very productive morning of training! As follow-up with the Family Life teachers, we are offering an afternoon of independent exploration (with me as facilitator and coach, if needed) as well as training in Google Forms and Google Calendar since this is our first year as a GAFE district. These trainings will be spread throughout the year to give the Family Life teachers opportunity to try out the tools and find the best fit for their curricular needs.

If you would like resources from this training, please click here to access my presentation. Feel free to RT this blog post to your other teacher friends, too - we can learn and grow together!