Principal, William Carey
To encourage and support staff in coming online with BYOx in their classroom, we’ve had quite a lot of capacity-building that we’ve done. Our eLearning co-ordinator is someone who we actually taken off-line and paid for from our school budget to help to provide capacity to work with staff. She provides in-service and professional development to staff. She also provides in-class training and support, mentoring and also coaching.
In addition to that, we provide professional readings for staff and do a lot of professional sharing for teachers who are now going to embark on the journey next year for the first time themselves. Being able to have that opportunity to speak to teachers who have worked in this way this year so they can learn from each other's experience and hopefully, make it as smooth a transition for them this year than what perhaps it was last year when it was our very first attempt at it.
Equity is a real issue for schools, particularly when, for a whole lot of reasons, families may not wish to come on-board with the program but we know that we still need to provide students with those opportunities to engage with digital technologies and devices so that they can access the resources that are being used within the classroom and publish material and be part of a wider network of learning.
To do that, we provide a number of devices within each classroom so that if there is a device that is down for example, a student's device isn't working or for family reasons, devices aren't purchased and families don't come online with the program, those children still have access to a device. It's not a 1:1 device; it's a shared device within the classroom context.
Making the best technology decisions for the classes so that the teachers are able to engage the students with that curriculum so the pedagogical choices they make, the curriculum and then the device, whether that be pen and paper or whether it be a digital device are really the considerations that the teachers make.
The devices themselves have been used for everything from drill and practice and going through basic skill type activities through to far more complex higher-order thinking type activities where students have to create using the devices. The teachers also have some considerations around whether the device they're using is basically replicating something else they've used previously or replacing something they've used previously or if it's actually transforming the learning for students. One of the things we try to encourage the teachers to do is to look beyond what they've done traditionally to help to move into that transformational type area.