This month’s The Leading Edge asks science education leaders to share their views on The Top Ten items identified by administrators as part of the Speak Up National Research Project which focused on the changing environment for digital learning. While there is The Top Ten list of items identified by students as need to know, the list that people are asked to comment on relates to the top topics in administrator’s views on technology.
One of the items on the top ten list indicates that 55% of school principals and district administrators say it is their concern that they do not have adequate technology for students to use at schools. While there are pros and cons on the topic, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) has gained much press and popularity in recent years allowing districts to provide the access whereas the students need to provide the technology option. The idea of BYOD is actually third on the top ten list. Concordia University actually offers a pros and cons review of BYOD that might be helpful in making a decision. Regardless of the district policy, BYOD will need to be integrated into the school culture carefully with meaningful and relevant tasks for students to utilize their own device around. Simply having a device does not necessarily indicate that it should always be open and/or available. Educators will have a paradigm shift as they begin to look at the class and say “take out your (insert name of device here).” Some students however will also have a learning curve as they begin to utilize technological devices as a tool for learning rather than as a method for interaction with friends.
Another area that is focused in relates to utilizing technology for professional growth as well as tasks. The use of tablets for classroom observations and online videos for professional development end up making tasks easier and more readily available, but can also isolate professionals from the discourse that most likely would happen when brought together for a larger professional development experience.
So what are your thoughts on the top ten topics in digital learning?