Implementing a BYOT initiative can yield surprising benefits
Students from all grade levels in Forsyth County Schools, Ga., are encouraged to bring their own technology tools to school to construct new learning opportunities. When the district first began its Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiative several years ago, the primary focus was to engage students with their devices in order to transform traditional instruction. Through consistent innovation and practice, we discovered some hidden advantages when students use their own technology for learning, and these are recognizable hallmarks of the BYOT classroom.
Creativity: Teachers can foster creativity as students design original products with their personal technology tools. These inventions are often constructed as solutions to problems or for students to illustrate what they have learned in imaginative new ways. In this manner, students aspire to become producers of relevant content rather than solely being consumers of static information.
Critical Thinking: As students conduct research with BYOT, they must distinguish between conflicting information and facts. Recognizing propaganda and determining the accuracy of content are other essential critical thinking abilities. The classroom teacher can nurture this decision-making process through modeling, practicing, reflecting, and questioning.
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