As I have mentioned in this post earlier, this year, I have an AppClass with my 4th graders where we are learning and practicing with our own tablets. It is great to see what is really happening in the classroom with 1:1 and catch on what is working and what it is actually not.
Here are my reflections and ideas of my experience in a class in Istanbul with 10 year old EFL students so; your experience, context and reflections may not necessarily be the same.
- It is important to set up your rules for your class if it is the kids’ first time in BYOT process. Some of my kids misunderstood the class and they think that we were only going to play games =) We have talked that they shouldn’t forget their devices at home though this is inevitable in some cases. After a month, they know that they have to follow the tasks and complete them.
- Parents knew and had already approved what we are doing in class so I didn’t need to ask for permission.
- I wanted to use an LMS to connect with the kids so I have chosen Edmodo for that. It is easy to connect with the kids, parents or admins can monitor if they like. I created my class on Edmodo and in the first class, I asked the kids to enroll with the password. Now, they all know that, they have to check Edmodo often to connect with me and to check what we will be doing in each week. They also talk to each other or me about our class in English.
- Although they should download the apps before coming to class, there are some kids who forget this. I had this problem at the beginning because some of them didn’t know their iTunes passwords to download them. They should also have an registered mail address on their tablets to make the sharing process easier.
- I have also started using ClassDojo, a classroom management system. I give them points if they bring their devices, download the apps before they come, complete their tasks etc. I really like this tool.
- In the first lesson, we also got our accounts on Evernote which is one of my favorite tools to use. They are using it to write their notes/reflections on the tasks and as an e-portfolio.
- We are using our library at the moment. Unfortunately, we have limited wifi there. This causes problems sometimes as the kids may want to download their apps at school. This is the key thing in BYOD process I guess, as it is really limiting what you can do if you don’t have a proper internet connection.
- Many of my students have their iPads but also a few of my students have Android devices too. I try to choose the apps that are both available in both devices.
- I give the kids a task each week with each app that I will be writing about in my next blog post. First, they have to design their tasks and then use their tablets to create what they will be doing. So, in our class, the regular teaching and technology is hand to hand.
- Sometimes, the time is not enough for their tasks as the kids come with different levels of English. I ask them to complete their tasks later and share them on Edmodo if the app allows it. I have to confess that they are not good at this at the moment.
Overall, I think, it is difficult create the culture of BYOT in class if it is your and your students’ first time. It certainly takes time and patience.
Picture Source: ShutterStock
cross-posted at ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org
Özge Karaoğlu is an English teacher and educational consultant in teaching young learners and teaching with web-based technologies. She is the author of Minigon ELT book series, which aims to teach English to young learners through stories. Read more of her ideas about teaching English through technology and Web-based tools at ozgekaraoglu.edublogs.org.