1212 LPM BYOD
Students at Liberty Park Middle School use electronic devices in class as part of the school’s BYOD: Bring Your Own Device program. Photo courtesy of Linda Rummell.
This year, four Liberty Park Middle School teachers are piloting BYOD: Bring Your Own Device classes. Students are allowed to bring tablets, laptops, iPods, smart phones and e-readers and have special Internet access in these particular classes. The teachers are: Jennifer Isbell, sixth grade social studies; Brooke Izurieta, sixth, seventh and eighth grade Spanish; Baylor Knott, eighth grade language arts; and Anne Carter Finch, eighth grade language arts.
Students in these classes use their devices for note taking, research and creating projects. If they have questions, they can look up words or find more information on subjects. All teachers are focusing on a layered curriculum approach to learning. Layered curriculum is a way to differentiate instruction for all learners. Students are given a choice of assignments and may choose to use their devices to complete the assignments. Also by submitting assignments digitally, students are cutting down on paper use.
In all of these classes, some students choose not to bring devices. If a student does not have a device, he or she receives a copy of notes on paper and assignments on paper as well. If these teachers are doing projects that require research, they will check out the mobile computer labs, the stationary labs or the Apple iPad labs for these students to use.
For students who have availability to apps, Isbell has introduced two that she says are convenient for social studies. The first is “Notability,” which allows students to import notes from her website. The other app is “Flashcards,” which allows students to create flashcards as a study aid for upcoming tests.
In Izurieta’s class, students use the devices to take notes, complete assignment or access their Edmodo accounts. In Knott and Finch’s classes, students have access to online documents and activities such as Webquests.