Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Creating Device-Neutral Assignments for BYOD Classes

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Creating Device-Neutral Assignments for BYOD Classes

Article excerpt

As more school districts begin to adopt Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, the same few questions arise: Will I need new lessons? How will students complete assignments? Who will troubleshoot device problems?

"I think it adds a lot of stress to the teachers when they think, 'Here are these students that are going to bring in all kinds of devices, and I don't know what they are and how to use them,'" says Ron Milliner, the director of the Kentucky Academy of Technology Education (KATE), whose organization assists schools in BYOD deployments. "We [at KATE] try to do training [for teachers] to take the lessons they already have prepared and show them how to turn them into lessons we call 'DNA'--device-neutral assignments."

DNA lessons are an important component in allowing students using different devices to do their homework. But don't be intimidated by all the acronyms. What Milliner and his team show teachers is that moving to a digital structure doesn't necessarily require big changes to existing lesson plans.

Sometimes this shift can be as simple as changing the wording in a syllabus. =Instead of saying a 'PowerPoint,' say a presentation; don't say 'Word document,' just say word-processing file. The kids are going to find the application or the device program they need to create the assignment," Milliner says. There are also specific cross-platform tools teachers can use, such as word processing programs Microsoft Word or OpenOffice for PCs, Pages for Apple, Google Docs for Android, and Word Mobile for Windows Phone. …

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