Lincoln Academy BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)
The world continues to change, and here at Lincoln Academy we feel a need to change with it. We recognize that technology is changing and increasing what is possible inside and out of the classroom. We have made small steps each year to have technology in the classrooms. We have added projectors and document cameras in all classes. At the start of next year 12 of our classes will have interactive whiteboards. Our next step is a step that will help us prepare your students for the world they are going to inherit.
We are in the process of obtaining an iPad for each teacher and 5 iPod touches for each classroom. This will be done over the course of two years. We are starting with the Junior High classes this year and will move to the elementary classes the following year.
To increase the amount of devices in each classroom we are adopting a plan in practice across the country- BYOD (Bring your own device). Next year we will allow all junior high students to have portable devices that allow them to interact with their teachers and each other. The following year we will allow all Elementary students to bring their own devices. This means students will be allowed to bring and use iPod touches, iPhones, iPads, and any other portable device that would allow students to connect to the wireless internet here at the school.
Obviously this new program will generate a lot of questions. I have tried to answer what I consider will be some of the most common questions below:
How can these devices be used in a classroom?
These devices can empower and inspire students. They can be used in endless scenarios- students can make slide shows and videos for culminating events, can answer questions posed by the teacher, use apps created to boost literacy and math skills, additional apps to help memorize the locations of the states, order of the presidents, increase vocabulary, dissect frogs, read novels, take tests electronically, use software that adjusts to their skill level and provides instruction and reinforcement in needed areas and this run-on sentence is just the tip of the iceberg. Honestly the possibilities are endless.
Why can?t the school fund a project to put a class set in each class?
Optimally, it would be best to have a full class set in each classroom. However, to put a full set of iPads in each classroom would cost over $350,000. This is not financially possible in the economy we are in with state tax revenue and school funding decreasing.
How many Lincoln students currently own these devices?
On the last week of school we surveyed 214 current Junior High students to help us get some baseline data. They reported that 56% of them already owned an iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, smart phone or other device (Android, Galaxy Tablet) that allowed them to connect to the wireless internet. There were (94) 44% of students who did not own one of these devices. Of the 94 who did not own a device, 49 (52%) said that they would like to try and earn enough money over the summer to get a device if Lincoln were to allow students to bring them to school.
What training will the teachers be getting?
Apple offers six webinars throughout the summer, which many of the teachers are registered for. Those who were unavailable during the initial webinar will be required to watch them in August before school starts. Our administration will be attending a conference with breakout sessions by Apple on iPod and iPad use in the classroom this month. Junior High teachers are already scheduled for 30 hours of training before school starts with an additional 40 hours throughout the year on how to implement this new technology in the classroom.
Is the Internet at Lincoln safe and secure?
This summer we will be adding extra measures to ensure our Internet connection is secure. Anyone wishing to log onto Lincoln Academy?s wireless Internet will be required have a username and a password. This will be student information system (SIS) ID numbers for students. We are currently upgrading our filtering system. Although no filtering system is perfect, Lincoln Academy is committed to ensuring Internet safety and is vigilant in protecting it?s students from harmful content.
Can my student bring any iPod?
They must have an iPod that can connect to the Internet to use in class in an interactive manner with the teacher.
What if my student loses their iPod at school?
We will require all students to register their devices with the school. Most newer models have the capability of being located if lost but still connected to the Internet.
Is the school responsible if my student?s ipod/ipad is broken at school?
No it is not. It is your student?s personal responsibility to care for their personal property. If another student maliciously damaged a device, Lincoln would be involved in the discipline process as with damage to any other property, however we would not be liable for covering replacement costs.
about students who don?t have an ipod/ipad?
Hopefully, as we are announcing this in June your student will have time to earn enough money to purchase one or you can assist them in obtaining one. However, if this is not an option with the school providing five iPod touches in each classroom they can work in small groups using the iPod touches. The more students who bring their devices, the smaller the groups will be.
If we are purchasing a new device what would you recommend?
We would recommend an iPad2. They are a little larger and would be easier to manipulate some of the programs and functions. Additionally the battery life is longer and it is easier to type on an iPad. However, studies have shown that size doesn?t matter to students and they can do just as well on an iPod touch.
One possibility would be for you to have your student earn a certain percentage of the cost for the iPad and pay the rest. This way they are also invested in protecting and caring for the iPad and in turn their own education.
How much do iPads/iPods it cost?
An iPad right now starts at $499. An iPod touch starts at $229. You can buy a refurbished iPod touch for $149 and a refurbished iPad for $349. These are starting prices for the older generation, but would still work. They can be found at http://store.apple.com/us/browse/home/specialdeals. I have talked to many families who have bought the refurbished ones and they have worked well for them.
Can the schools Internet handle all these wireless devices?
We are making significant upgrades this summer, which should make it possible for all the devices to be on the Internet.
How does this fit in with Lincoln Academy?s Mission?
Four words that we use around Lincoln Academy to remind us of our educational mission is inspire, empower, explore, and achieve. Over the course of the past six years we have made significant monetary and time investments in professional development, curriculum, institutional programs, and teachers that carry this vision into our classrooms. These programs have been modified and changed over the years to adjust to the needs of our students and to provide them with the best education possible. Technology used correctly in the classroom will help inspire and empower students to explore and achieve great things.
How does BYOD effect the curriculum and philosophy of Lincoln Academy?
Technology and the proper use of it in the classroom will only enhance the curriculum. Lincoln will continue to carry forward and push the need for hands-on interactive projects and culminating events in the classroom. Our basic math, reading, science, social studies, character education, PE, and other curriculum will remain the same. Technology will support it, enhance some of the delivery and interaction but not changing the curriculum.
Are you worried about the social stigma that it might cause if one student doesn?t have a device?
Yes we are, that is why we are putting five iPod touches in each class. We hope this will allow everyone to have access to a device. We would love to have enough for each student in every class to have access to a device. If you know of any businesses who would like to donate to our cause we would love to buy more iPods for the classroom so that everyone could have access.
Have other schools tried this?
Yes they have and have seen great success. The following are links to their stories:
?Kearns High School - 1800 iPod touches
?Canby School District ? Oregon
?Palm Beach County iPad Project
?Webb School of Knoxville
?Horry County Schools
Can my student?s ipod/iPad be taken away?
Yes, teachers will take away students devices if they are not using them appropriately i.e.- listening to music, playing games, surfing the net, answering emails when not allowed will cause your students to lose their privileges for that day.
Can I see what it would be like in a classroom?
We plan on having a meeting for parents in mid-August. We will demonstrate some of the possibilities and interactive capabilities. At this meeting we would also discuss best internet security practices and give you some tips to help safeguard your student. The dates for this will be forthcoming.
What if I have additional questions?
go to the following address to leave questions- https://spreadsheets.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dFp1T19jcVEySVdaNGpuSHFZbi1hM1E6MQ
I will then compile a commonly asked question page and redistribute it in a couple of weeks to the whole Lincoln population.