In a few short months, both district high schools, Hamilton Southeastern HS and Fishers HS, will begin a new adventure. It’s called BYOD–that’s short for Bring Your Own Device. When school begins in August of this year (2015), each student in grades 9-12 will bring a tablet or laptop to school on a daily basis. The access and connection made possible through one-to-one digital tools will allow teachers to deepen and extend learning beyond classroom walls. Schools throughout the state and nation have made this move from print to digital, understanding the power that digital access gives students–through the world wide web, our children have the opportunity to connect with experts around the globe, help tackle real-world problems, and much more. Learning becomes authentic.
HSE’s August 2015 BYOD roll out is the culmination of several years of research, strategic planning, and practical preparation. For our school district, part of this preparation has included visiting other schools and districts throughout Indiana, especially those that have gone before us in this major curricular shift. The image here is of a recent visit to Brebeuf, a nearby high school already in its third year of a BYOD program. The group of HSE and Brebeuf teachers and educators spent half a day relating experiences, discussing concerns, and learning from one another. Just as collaboration among students deepens learning, so it is with teachers. Our teachers hope to continue the relationships that have begun with Brebeuf’s educators, and with today’s digital tools, continuing conversations are just a mouse click away.