Saturday, March 15, 2014

BYOD Equity Panel at #SXSWedu 2014

On March 5, 2014, I was privileged to moderate and participate on a panel on Bridging the Digital Divide with BYOD Equity at the SXSWedu conference in Austin, Texas.

The panelists were a true joy to plan and present with. I highly suggest you follow each of them on Twitter to learn more about best practices in educational technology. My fellow panelists were:

  • Jessica Herring, 7th Grade English teacher and practitioner of BYOD in the classroom at Benton Middle School outside of Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Dr. Tim Clark, Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Forsyth County Schools in Georgia. Forsyth County Schools was an early trailblazer in BYOD initiatives and is looked to nationwide as a resource for how to implement BYOD and implement it well.
  • Dr. Michael Mills, Assistant Professor of Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Arkansas. Michael keeps his hand in K-12 education by partnering with schools and teachers on BYOD integration projects. He also conceived of this panel and brought us all together to participate on it, for which I am truly thankful.

What I loved about this panel is it stretched the conversation about BYOD Equity beyond just devices. Of course access to devices is important when we are asking families to send technology to school with their children, but there are so many more equity issues involved. Some of the topics our panel touched on were:

  • Internet access outside of school
  • Support for and understanding of BYOD from school and district administrators
  • Acceptance and sound implementation of BYOD by classroom teachers
  • Ongoing, robust professional development for teachers
  • Clear communication with families of students
  • Support from the greater community in which the school or district operates

Here is an audio recording of the panel:




I am thankful that my Central Texas edtech colleague Diana Benner attended our panel and posted notes she took during the discussion to her blog

As I looked through Tweets later on the day of the session, this one really stood out because it was such a high compliment and made me realize it wasn't just my biased perception that the panel had gone well:


I also used Storify to try collect Tweets which used our #BYODequity hashtag during the panel. Below is a slideshow of the Tweets I collected.

This conversation was just a beginning. I hope all of the documentation of the session which I am posting here can serve as a starting-place for more detailed conversations which lead to solutions for getting powerful learning technologies into the hands of students.






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