Part time school, distance learning, bring your own device – these classroom trends can all introduce a diverse mix of technology devices. Multiple devices such as desktop computers and tablets, and a variety of operating systems challenge teachers to become instant experts. But we’re educators, not computer scientists. What to do? Managing devices that are not the same doesn’t have to be a roadblock.
There’s lots of help available. There are free apps that work the same no matter what device students have. As for curriculum, TechnoKids has versions of technology projects for Google Apps as well as Microsoft Office 2019, 2016, 2013, and Office Online.
Here are some suggestions and tips to questions you may have. If I’ve left out any issues, just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll try to help.
What free apps are available to work on multiple devices?
There are two commonly used choices for teachers and students: Google Apps or G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 both offer free accounts. They also have options specifically for education use. Simply sign up! Once logged in using a browser, students can access a word processor, spreadsheet, presentation app, and many more tools to create digital assignments. No matter what device they are using, what students see will all be the same.
How do I share files with my students?
There are lots of options to help teachers give assignments to their students digitally.
Or there are powerful classroom management systems let teachers set up classes, create and distribute templates, and evaluate student work. Students sign in, join a class, and then complete and submit their completed activities. Collaboration is another benefit of these tools. Teachers can create forums to encourage community question and answer spaces. In this way, students can help one another instead of just corresponding with the teacher.
- Google Classroom
- Microsoft Class Notebook – download OneNote and OneNote Class Notebook
- Microsoft Teams
Do TechnoKids projects work on different devices?
When you purchase a TechnoKids projects, you will automatically receive multiple versions. No deciding and restricting your users to limited options. Most TechnoKids projects come in all of the following:
- Google Apps
- Microsoft Office 2019, 2016, and 2013
- Microsoft Office 365 Online
You can give each student the specific version needed for their device. Instructions, tools, and sample images will match in the Student Workbook will match what they see.
How can I track my students and their devices?
To keep organized, it’s a good idea to create a class list and record what device each student is using. Use a spreadsheet with the headings Name and Device. Add any other columns as needed. Now you can sort and filter the data by what device students are using. Then it’s just one step to upload the version of a project that corresponds to each group using a specific type of device.
How can I adjust my curriculum to accommodate multiple devices?
See Six Tips to Adapt to Online Learning with TechnoKids and Distance Learning Hints for Success to see some suggestions. Read helpful, time saving hints such as using student peer coaches, flexibility in assignments, and timing options.
How can students build creative projects?
When it seemed as if remote learning was going to be a short-term event perhaps for a few weeks or so, the quick solution may have been assigning worksheets to students. But now it seems that some form of distance learning may be a part of education for the foreseeable future. Students need to be challenged with inquiry based, creative, and engaging assignments. We know that they are savvy consumers of media. But they should also develop their creative expression and become producers of media.
Offer tasks that require higher order thinking skills, independence, responsibility, and collaboration. Students using a variety of devices with which they are familiar can meet the challenge of student-centered, self-directed education. Promote ‘anytime, anywhere‘ learning that extends beyond classroom walls.
Where can I read more about managing multiple devices?
This free, downloadable ebook will answer frequently asked questions, suggest fun web apps to use, and give classroom management tips for working with a variety of computers, tablets, and smartphones.
FUN TIP: As a motivating start to an inquiry project, check out the Word Clouds section of the BYOD Handbook. Students brainstorm words associated with a theme. Then they use a free online tool to automatically create a unique image from the words. It’s a fan favorite!
Managing Devices Unscrambled
At first, it may seem like chaos with so many different devices being used in the classroom or by students working remotely. But it’s actually empowering for students to use their own technology. They are comfortable with their own tools, and that’s the first step in achieving meaningful, relevant, and engaged learning.