Last weekend I was sitting in a great grad class with Jim Gates (my favorite edtech prof) and I heard a lot of negativity from those around me. There will always be some frustration with technology. We need to model resiliency and positive work habits for our students. Some people thought it would be easier to shut down and just bad mouth the class. This is hopefully not something that gets modeled for students. I do not believe that they are growing up in a world where they will get to choose if they use technology or not. This is not the first era of technological shift, it is just happening so much faster. At one point there were probably people who opted out of light bulbs because they thought it was just a phase.
Back to the students. I am not overly optimistic and I do think that students can do everything naturally. It does come much easier to students. They are not having to unlearn one process to learn a second one. So in the grad class I realized if teachers are not going to be able to guide students, the students need to be prepared to guide themselves, hopefully student leaders would also develop. Our district is BYOT, so I can not justify spending class time to guide students in playing with their devices to figure out what they can do, since I could literally have a different device per student. I also believe that sending them up to the high pressure environment of the high school without the tools to be successful is being negligent. So I came up with a solution that has taken form in the span of one week: BYOT^4 Club. The 4T’s are technology, tricks, tips, and tools.
Luckily one of the computer teachers was willing to join me on this journey. I have no idea what type of reaction to expect from the students or the parents. By I am grateful to have the support of my administration. So far we have have club website http://byot4.weebly.com. The club will be every other week. Each meeting will have two teacher highlighted tricks, tips, or tools. I want the remaining time to be open for a Tech Smackdown (one of the highlights of EdCamp in my opinion) led by the students who found something exciting. The problem might be containing their excitement or directing it to the educational realm.