The Passback Effect of Mobile Learning

A child’s first device isn’t always their own. Children often have their first device passed back to them when they are in the back seat of the car. This keeps them occupied while the parents are driving. We have also seen young children being handed mobile technology tools while they are in grocery stores, restaurants, and anywhere else that a fussy toddler needs a distraction. What are these children doing on the devices? What are the results of the Passback Effect? I recently blogged about the Passbook Effect, and @Hayes_EdTech suggested it as a chat topic. Join the #byotchat team in Twitter on Thursday, April 2, 2015, at 9 PM ET to discuss the Passback Effect. Come prepared with your questions and ready to share your ideas!


The Role of Parents in a BYOT School

Parental involvement is a key factor regarding a child’s success in school. This week, #BYOTchat will discuss the role that parents play in the success of their child in a BYOT school.

Please join Tim Clark, Nathan Stevens, and myself on Thursday, March 19 at 9PM ET to share your thoughts and views on the role that parents play in a BYOT school.

Second Language Learning with BYOT

So many of our schools have student where English is not their first language. How do we deal with devices in other other language? How do we include these students in the discussion and have their voices heard equally? Join us Thursday March 12th to discuss this topic on #BYOTchat

Designing a Media Center for the Digital Age

Join #BYOTchat in Twitter on Thursday, February 26, 2015, at 9 PM ET, as guest moderator Diana Rendina leads our discussion in how to design a media center for the digital age!
Here are some of Diana’s thoughts on this subject…
The lives of our students are dramatically different from when we were their age.  Information is available at the touch of a button; resources we couldn’t even imagine twenty years ago can now be found with a swipe.  The way our students discover and access information has completely transformed.
Unfortunately, our library media centers haven’t changed much.  We’ve added computer labs and gotten rid of the card catalog, but other than that, they tend look pretty much the same.  Stacks of books, heavy, immobile furniture,  oppressive circulation desks and limited power supplies.  Even if your school doesn’t have a budget for renovation, there’s still a lot of creative ways to go about changing our spaces to fit our students’ digital needs.  Join the discussion of rethinking how we use our library spaces and get started on redesigning your space for the digital age.
Find out more by dropping in on #byotchat and visiting Diana’s blog at

A Discussion on Net Neutrality

Screen Shot 2015-02-15 at 1.41.40 PMOn February 26, the FCC will vote to “… reclassify “broadband Internet access service”—that’s the retail broadband service Americans buy from cable, phone, and wireless providers—as a telecommunications service under Title II.” (1)

The FCC also emphasizes three bright-line rules:

  1. No Blocking: broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.

  2. No Throttling: broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services, or non-harmful devices.

  3. No Paid Prioritization: broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration – in other words, no “fast lanes” – including fast lanes for affiliates.(1)

#BYOTchat works on the principle that educators can learn more if they work together. Join us on Thursday, February 19, 2015  at 9PM EST in #byotchat in Twitter to discuss net neutrality.

Please invite individuals from both sides of the debate to participate in the chat.  We want our assumptions to be challenged and to learn from each other.

(1) “Chairman Wheeler Proposes New Rules for … – FCC.” 2015. 15 Feb. 2015 <>

Production vs Consumption with BYOT

In the BYOT classroom, new opportunities arise for creating original products with the students personal technology tools. However, there is also additional access to digital content and resources. In last week’s #BYOTchat, we had a heated discussion about the purposes of Bring Your Own Technology and whether the focus should be on the production of new content or on the consumption of information. Most digital age teachers and early adopters of BYOT would immediately state that students should become producers of information, yet as educators, we know that students must have access digital resources in order to explore new ideas or to see the work of an accomplished expert.

Join us on Thursday, February 12, 2015, at 9PM EST in #byotchat in Twitter to discuss the balance of Production and Consumption in the BYOT Classroom.

New Ways of Learning in the BYOT Classroom

This week, the inspiration, for our topic, is from an article entitled “Let’s Ban Bans in The Classroom” by John Jones (@johnmjones). Within this very well-written article Jones explains the on-going debate of technology in the college classroom.

“…why must we ask the 21st century to wait outside our classes?”

Jones explains the common rationales for both permitting and for banning technology, but the article’s main focus is on the need for educators to take advantage of technology and to develop new ways of learning.

“There is a robust body of research exploring alternatives to the lecture. Never before has technology been so able to support a new understanding of learning, but as Rivers argues, suppressing the use of new technologies avoids and ignores such discussions. There is a network of concerns at work here: what is the value of pedagogies like lecturing? What is the value of attention-structuring activities like note-taking? What role do emerging communication technologies have in mediating pedagogies and attention-structuring activities? The goal of the instructor should be to balance these concerns and push forward to discover new ways of learning.”

Join #BYOTchat on Twitter at 9:00 PM / ET on Thursday, February 5, 2015 to discuss “new ways of learning” with today’s technology.

The “Why” in Professional Development of Educational Technology

The topic for this week #BYOTchat is inspired by an article entitled “The Tick-Tock Effect of Educational Technology’s ‘Pendulum 2.0’” in EdTech Magazine by Eric Patnoudes (@NoApp4Pedagogy)

Within his article, Eric Patnoudes points out that the often most overlooked part of technology integration is professional development centered on why a tool will enhance student learning and growth. He describes the educational technology ‘Pendulum 2.0’ as:

“…as the swing from teachers drowning in an oversaturated ocean of “cool tools,” to the realization that without sound pedagogical practice, technology will have little to no impact in the classroom.”

“This is not to say that teachers don’t need training. We have to know what the tools are and what they’re capable of doing. It’s a big part of the equation, but one that takes a back seat to professional development, because in effective technology integration, pedagogy is the driver and technology the accelerator — or else it will simply end up being the brake.”

Join #BYOTchat at 9:00 PM/ET on Thursday, January 29 as we discuss not the “how” of educational technology integration but the “why” of educational technology integration.


“The Tick-Tock Effect of Educational Technology’s ‘Pendulum …” 2014. 28 Jan. 2015 <>

#BYOTchat Welcomes Aaron Smith to Discuss Design

This week on #BYOTchat, we welcome Aaron Smith @theartguy to lead us in a discussion of the elements and principles of well-designed content.  Join us at 9PM ET on Thursday, January 22 for this informative and engaging discussion.

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PowerPoint: We love it, we hate it, we hate to love it, and we love to hate it. What was once a program that allowed us to say “LOOK, I’M INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY!” in a totally non-ironic fashion is now something that is as ubiquitous as an LCD projector. We force our students to sit through our PowerPoint presentations, then go to staff meetings where we sit through our administrators’ presentations, and then we go to trainings and conferences where we sit through EVEN MORE presentations. If we are truly masochistic, we even have our students make presentations that we and the rest of the class will sit through as well.

And most of them are done poorly.

You know what I’m talking about, to be sure. Perhaps you’ve seen a slide with five paragraphs of text, clip art that had nothing to do with the presentation, a different color scheme for on every slide, or my personal favorite: Lime green text on an orange background?

We can complain all day long about bad design, and I’m no exception to that rule. Poor design actually makes me angrier than a student playing a video game in my class that I HAVEN’T assigned. Unfortunately, other than the notable stress relief that comes from venting our frustrations we don’t end up in a better place for our efforts.

So instead, how about for this week’s #BYOTchat we talk about GOOD design. 

We’ll cover PowerPoint, sure (like I said, it’s ubiquitous), but good digital design isn’t limited to a single app.  A display style that helps a struggling reader is just as good on a PowerPoint as it is on a Keynote, Prezi, YouTube video, or even giant sheets of paper on which you’ve carefully written out everything with a permanent marker (you brave soul, you).

Oh, OK. You get to share ONE (1) PowerPoint horror story, but that’s it.  Let’s spend more time talking about what works than we do about what doesn’t.
Aaron Smith @theartguy

BYOT / BYOD Fears Among Educators

Recently Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu ) posted a great article entitled “Confronting Fears – #BYOD for Students” on her blog “The Innovative Educator.”  In her article, Lisa covered a number of fears that educators have in adopting BYOT in their classrooms.  Her article is the inspiration for our topic this week.

Join #BYOTchat at 9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 15, 2015 to discuss the various fears to BYOT that educators have.