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    #243066 - 06/13/18 05:38 AM How can BYOD help gifted students?
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2591
    Loc: MA
    Our public schools, like others, have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, starting in 5th grade, with Chromebooks being recommended. How can this help gifted students?

    One of our children is given permission by his math teacher to do problems on Alcumus (a site of AOPS) when he knows the topic to be covered in class. This kind of informal accommodation is better than nothing, but if a child's work done more formally, for example through an AOPS course, this may help him or her get appropriate instruction in future years. In the high school, math classes beyond calculus are offered online.

    What are your schools doing? What should be done?

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    #243074 - 06/13/18 08:09 AM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4144
    Our local government school district provides all students with devices beginning in K5.

    Please consider them as government-spy-in-your-home devices. I'm aware that some children of teachers and/or school board members are NOT allowed to bring their devices home from school, due to parental concerns.

    Software can:
    - track GPS location
    - remotely turn on microphone
    - remotely turn on camera
    - track keystrokes
    - track all websites/assignments visited (and duration)
    - track eye movement reading webpage, screen, online "book" page
    - create biometric identification/authentication (face, eyes, voice, fingerprints)
    - create different lessons and levels of homework required for individual students in the same class (differentiated task demands)
    - gather personal/private data for permanent repositories

    One definition of FREE refers to things being without cost at point of service.
    One definition of FREE refers to people being self-determining, unhindered by law or regulation; having personal liberty.
    There may be an ironic balance in that getting more "free" stuff often comes with a tradeoff of being less "free" as an increasing number of life-decisions may be made for a person by an outside entity. There is a fine balance, beyond which a tipping point exists: if given a choice, which form of "free" do taxpaying US citizens prefer?

    What should be done?
    - While upcoming generations need to be aware of technology, they also need to be aware of the cost in terms of privacy.
    - In general, I favor encouraging the use of books, for many reasons.
    - This is NOT against AoPS or any of the other excellent online educational programs. For these, I believe it is better to access them through one's own device and not a school-issued device.

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    #243076 - 06/13/18 08:32 AM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: indigo]
    Bostonian Offline
    Member

    Registered: 02/14/10
    Posts: 2591
    Loc: MA
    Originally Posted By: indigo
    Software can:

    ...

    - create different lessons and levels of homework required for individual students in the same class (differentiated task demands).

    Is that bad? I wish there were more and earlier ability grouping, but there will always be a range of ability and preparation in a class, so lessons and homework tailored to students can be beneficial. It is problematic that two students doing very different levels of work can both get an A in the same class, but grades before high school don't matter much. My daughter, in 6th grade, has noticed that teachers differentiate work, for example having three sets of vocabulary worksheets of varying difficulty. Technology can do the same thing, with finer levels of gradation.

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    #243077 - 06/13/18 08:49 AM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    indigo Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/27/13
    Posts: 4144
    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    It is problematic that two students doing very different levels of work can both get an A in the same class
    This is about closing gaps... or the appearance of closing gaps in knowledge, by closing the gaps in assigned grades.The identical grades may make it appear that students had identical performance on identical tasks, with identical task demands.

    Unfortunately this means that assigned grades are no longer a proxy for the level of a student's performance or measurement of a student's knowledge base.

    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    ...but grades before high school don't matter much.
    This may have been true in the past, however all grades are now permanently stored in Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems. The existence of this data throughout a student's life means that it can be analyzed at any future time, and items which may seem inconsequential now may in the future be deemed to be of greater importance.

    Grades which are contrived to show equal outcomes by all students may:
    - inaccurately represent student growth and progress,
    - skew GPAs and class rank,
    - influence college admissions,
    - demotivate gifted students,
    - give an inflated sense of accomplishment to students assigned an "A" grade for lower levels of work.

    Studies such as the NWEA - Fordham Do High Flyers Maintain Their Altitude? (Sept 2011), indicate that some students may become "descenders" within a given one-third of their class. Unfortunately, this may inspire some schools to seek strategies to intentionally create "descenders," in order to close gaps and achieve equal outcomes.

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    #243082 - 06/13/18 12:04 PM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    mecreature Offline
    Member

    Registered: 03/14/11
    Posts: 351
    My son had nothing provided or required by his public school in 1-4. In middle, a private school they provided an iPad (donated by one of the parents). In public high school now, they provide nor require no devices.

    He takes a laptop with him to school each day and uses his phone as a hotspot if needed. He says there are minimum of devices in the study center and the wifi is less than desirable so he takes his own.

    I can see this would have been a good tool in 4th at the local public school. The previous year in 3rd grade he had already taken the 5th grade curriculum (SSA) and we had him taking the Prealgebra (AoPS) after school. So he could have actually been making headway on that during school math hours.

    We did have an agreement in 4th with the curriculum director and the teacher to do this and provided a tablet to work on but the deal fell apart very quickly. We could have never gotten it written in his IEP, too many channels to deal with.

    Originally Posted By: Bostonian
    It is problematic that two students doing very different levels of work can both get an A in the same class

    I totally agree. It has to be discouraging to the student.


    Edited by mecreature (06/13/18 12:09 PM)

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    #244470 - 12/13/18 01:16 PM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    Cranberry Offline
    Member

    Registered: 05/29/13
    Posts: 152
    Our school now provides IBM's education laptops (relative low powered, but functional) to every grade. They started 3 years ago with K-6 and expanded it gradually to full participation this year.

    Classes are integrating it into their curriculum - DD14 was busy coding at code.org for AP CSP last night, and asked for my help using Photoshop CC to clean up some graphics to insert into the app she was building. Using this during class, using on-line citation generation tools for English, etc., plus on-line textbooks, homework driven by on-line research, etc. - they are leveraging the capability. In the past, they always had to assume that some students didn't have access, limiting what could be done. Now, they assume every student has access, so teaching can be built around it. (I think there are accommodations for students without internet access at home, but when they surveyed for this in the roll-out, it was already 90%, and that was 2-3 years ago).

    For GT specifically, she used to have to go the the "computer room" to do advanced Math courses in 6th grade - easier access may now free the school up to offer more self-paced options (AoPS, CTY, etc.) for acceleration/enrichment.

    We have a gifted annual planning meeting in a few weeks - I want to look into how additional challenges can be offered. DD is in the advanced classes, 2 years ahead in math, but she's still at 99-100 in every class, plus AoPS Intermediate classes, etc. They were open to skipping Honors Physics and going right to AP through the Fast Paced Physics 3-week summer course at CTY, so they've shown flexibility. I need to research/dig up on-line options - CTY, AoPS, EPGY, Davidson, etc.

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    #244473 - 12/13/18 03:13 PM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    aeh Offline
    Member

    Registered: 04/26/14
    Posts: 3457
    I think the principal benefits of 1:1 technology (we provide ChromeBooks to every student in our building, to keep on graduation, and have for several years; we're on, I think, our fifth or sixth cohort) for all students, not only GT learners, include:

    1. leveling the (typically socio-economic) playing field with respect to basic technology skills and access to post-secondary education (which nearly all requires facility with this level of technology). In our region and others, those who qualify for FARE lunch can subscribe to subsidized internet access from the local cable company, typically in the range of $10/month;
    2. making in-school assistive technology accommodations better matched to real-world technology use, as a matter of course. Students don't need to jump through hoops to receive typed response, spellcheck, text-to-speech, or speech-to-text for daily work, for example, any more than most working adults have to;
    3. facilitating a shift in emphasis toward higher-level problem solving and metacognitive skills, rather than rote acquisition of concrete knowledge skills. E.g., skills for becoming a discerning consumer of information (locating and identifying reliable sources), rather than memorizing curated factoids; and yes,
    4. differentiating/individualizing instruction and reinforcement activities.

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    #244477 - 12/13/18 08:53 PM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    puffin Offline
    Member

    Registered: 12/11/12
    Posts: 2014
    BYOD means just that here - the parents purchase the device and the kids take it to school: problems are usually damage or theft of the device or accessing inappropriate things in class/playing instead of working.

    Differentiated task demands can be good depending on the teacher. It is not more interesting or challenging to add an extra 5 numbers to long division or to write a longer report about the same low level book. As others pointed out to it makes grades a bit dodgy.

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    #246346 - 11/22/19 05:44 AM Re: How can BYOD help gifted students? [Re: Bostonian]
    Old Dad Offline
    Member

    Registered: 07/30/12
    Posts: 421
    Our district is blessed to have a strong tax base from nearby large industry, so students are each supplied a Chrome Book starting in the 5th grade. Students may use their own device. WiFi access in the school is locked down pretty tight restricting it appropriate site access of course.

    The benefits and risks of such a program have already been discussed, however, what hasn't been mentioned is the expectation at this time of colleges and universities that an incoming student be well versed in online class discussion, taking tests online, turning in work online, collaborative projects online, and of course getting sometimes daily notification of class information via e-mail. It's been an eye opener having sons in college for the last 7 years.

    I should also mention that these days, my youngest as an electrical engineering student uses no paper notes, everything he does is on a tablet including written notes, schematic drawings, taking pictures of whatever in class, and recording any portions of lectures needed.

    One of the bigger issues I've seen about computers in the schools is that well versed students (especially boys who tend to take more risks in general) enjoy the challenge of hacking into the school's system, retrieving information they shouldn't have access to such as teacher's passwords, grades, etc. This issue is compounded by the fact that it's extremely difficult to hire and keep strong IT personal to manage the system and security as they can get paid twice as much in the private sector with the same skills.

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