Bedford mulls high school technology
Terry Bullard, the director of technology at Bedford High School, recently presented three technology integration models to the school board — the current model of using computer labs and mobile carts; the One-to-One; and BYOD, the Bring Your Own Device model. Because of the benefits, she is recommending moving to the One-to-One model because it provides the same device to each student, which allows them to learn anywhere and anytime at home or at school, and offers better classroom management.
Although students can text, email or play video games, that doesn’t make them digital learners, she said.
In the 21st century classroom, information is abundant, content is integrated with other subjects and real-world issues, and students are expected to work with others.
With the computer labs and mobile cart model, everything is controlled by the district and is school financed, but there are only so many labs for the 1,400 high school students, she said. It also requires juggling and pre-planning schedules, and teachers often have to request carts weeks in advance.
“Just because we have laptops and devices doesn’t mean we use them every second of every day. It’s up to the teacher and how they integrate them into their classrooms,” she said. “Once the newness wears off with this and you build a culture, over time the students know what’s expected of them and teachers develop more engaging lessons.”
In addition, not every student knows how to handle problems, making it necessary for the teacher to take time from the lesson to correct a tech-support issue.
She said in a recent survey for grades 7 to 12, 1,055 parents responded, with 98 percent of homes having Wifi connections, most have shared devices at home, and those computers are used for homework and preparing school presentations. Also, 83 percent of parents said the benefits of students having their own devices include the ability to access textbooks online and it would help students track assignments.
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