The discussion began by looking for low cost solutions for hardware with many people talking about the merits and worries of student and teachers bringing their own devices into school. This is an issue for a whole discussion on it’s own, but the general view of most ukedchat participates was that it is a good idea in the secondary school setting, but there is a worry over liability for the school if these devices were damaged or misused. A particular concern was that students may use the video facility on their devices and use these in a way to embarrass the teacher or fellow students. We also heard from some schools that have bought a device for every pupil to use both at home and at school. There was a short discussion about buying devices in clusters of schools to make saving when purchasing in bulk.
The discussion turned to what kind of infrastructure the school should provide with many participates tweeting that the school should simply provide the network and Internet connection. It was noted that the level of tech support may increase with many devices with many platforms and the initial setup would require much more technical skill. However, some people thought that the lack of devices owned by the school would mean the opposite would be true. The topic of the digital divide between those pupils with and without devices to use in school was interweaved throughout this discussion with some tweeps stating that this problem would need to addressed before a ‘bring your own device’ school could work for all pupils.
The focus of the discussion turned to open source solutions for common ‘paid for’ applications. There were generally good comments made about cloud computing options, such as Google Docs and Apps, but there was some concern over software like Open Office, as the children may not have this software at home, but generally most people thought this was a good way forward. It was suggested that schools should audio their software and actively seek out open source alternatives. It was suggested that a list should be made of all the free software alternatives in one place, so I have set up this Google Docs page to just that – Click Here to view and add your own.
The chat continued with many talking about the importance of making and sharing teaching resources. The final focus was how to continue with CPD in these times of austerity. Twitter and ukedchat where held up as the best examples of this. The Teachmeet model was put forward as a cost effective way to share ideas with a staff and that staff meetings some show a little more of this method. One of the final points before 9pm was that with any change in tech there needs to be a clear purpose to its use, proper training and an excitement to try it and experiment with it.
NOTABLE TWEETS FROM THE SESSION:
#ukedchat Empower your people. Let them solve problems themselves.
#ukedchat @peterweal stop spending money on equitable, inferior solutions for all – let the haves set the bar, fund the have nots…
If it is sitting in cupboard get it out, dust it off, teach some kids how to use it and see it get used! #ukedchat They soon pass it on!
BYOD leverages existing tech in a cost effective way. I don’t care what it is but if the student can learn with it then I’m sold. #ukedchat
TWEET OF THE WEEK:
#ukedchat @chrisrat – that’s a great idea: Is there a “Swap Shop” for schools?
ABOUT YOUR HOST:
Martin Burrett (@ICTmagic) is a Year 5/6 Primary School teacher at Mersea Island School, near Colchester in Essex. His award winning wiki page provides a huge selection of free web resources for every area of the Primary and Secondary curriculum.