BYOD in the Classroom

Below are documented examples/anecdotes of BYOD use to engage students and deepen learning.  After reading through the brief description of how BYOD was implemented we want you to reflect/discuss on the Scenario/Questions at the bottom of the page.


  • Source: Cold Lake High School, Northern Lights School Division
  • Topic: Literacy (Language Arts)

A culminating activity for a literacy unit in English Language Arts 9. The assignment is to create a movie trailer that illustrates the students’ understanding of the major themes of sameness, memory and choice in The Giver by Lois Lowry. See assignment at: Students are assessed on the quality of each step of the production, including storyboarding, planning, editing, communicating, storytelling, illustrating of themes and working in a group. Students used Aviary-Myna, an online audio editor to create original music; video and still cameras; the iPhone; and video capable iPod Touches to capture images in the creation of their movie trailer. When completed, they embed their digital content – i.e., movie trailer – in their class blog using Blogger.


  • Source: Calgary Board of Education
  • Topic: Japan (Social Studies)

Using iPODs to Support an Understanding of Japan in Grade 8 Social Studies. Students are asked to analyze the effects of cultural isolation during the Edo period by exploring and reflecting upon how the shogun used the feudal system and the hierarchical social classes to maintain control of Japan. Each student has his own iPod Touch synced through a teacher controlled iTunes account. These mobile devices are used to research and represent student understanding in the following ways:
1. Students use their textbooks, learning commons and the devices to research Japanese feudal society.
2. Students draw/create their own images of the levels of Japanese feudal society through a drawing application called Doodlebuddy. Once created, these images are saved to the iPod’s camera roll.
3. Students use the Sketchnation app to create their own digital games representing the levels of Japanese feudal society. They use their research on Japan and Doodlebuddy images to do so.
4. Assessment is based on a prescribed rubric. Students help develop this rubric. Students assess one another’s game through game play and demonstration. A document camera is used to project device content on the electronic whiteboard so all can celebrate their learning.


  • Source: Rocky View School District
  • Topic: Cold War (Social Studies)

 In a Social Studies 30-1 class, the topic of historical thinking in the context of the study of the Cold War is approached, in part, through students’ production of a historical scene investigation. Using the website Historical Scene Investigation from the College of William and Mary, students create a website (using to investigate some of the following questions:
• How did the use of propaganda in pop culture perpetuate hostility during the Cold War?
• What conditions led to the existence of the Hotline between Washington and Moscow?
• Was there a clear victor in the global domination for nuclear arms?
Students provide background evidence, physical evidence and witness statements to back up their investigations. They provide primary and secondary sources and come to a conclusion that supports or refutes their investigative questions. The use of personally owned devices is essential in building the websites. The students not only find their primary and secondary evidence on-line through various archival sites but also build the site on-line as well. The ability to access the material at school or at home and have a seamless transition in the transfer of their information is key.


After many months of research, discussion and debate, you school/organization has decided to implement a BYOD policy.  Students can bring in devices if they choose to do so, and if not, there are computers that they can still access (they might have to be shared).  The school/organization has also installed filtered internet access from within the building that all students have access to.


Discussion (please write your answer in the “Leave a Reply” box found below):

1) What are some of the apps/sites you feel are necessary (regardless of subject area) for students to have installed in order to effectively use a BYOD approach in your classroom?

2) What are some of the more subject specific apps/sits that students should have access to in order to facilitate learning within a given subject area?

3) Based on your response from #2, what would a specific activity/lesson that incorporates BYOD look like (provide a brief description)




Alberta Government. (2012). Bring your own device:  A guide for schools.  Retrieved from

36 thoughts on “BYOD in the Classroom

  1. 1) Google, IMDB (I teach film), Youtube, Vimeo, Facebook (I use the FB group function pretty consistently for my different classes), Vocaroo.

    2) Gorillacam is really useful for Photography kids who use their phones. Everything else I use can be used easily across all classes.

    3) Have students take some photos using the regular photography function on their phones and then dl and install gorillacam in order to incorporate and take photos using the new functions.

    • I truly believe that as a result of mobile devices being able to take pictures with relative ease, the power of a picture has increased exponentially. In a classroom, viewing a student’s/classmate’s picture really gives you an idea of what type of lens the students sees life with.

      One of my favorite introductory activities to do with a class is a 10 picture profile without any text or explination. I think it’s great for a class to see what other students in the class are intersted in, or how they view things around them, etc.

      • I think that the ability to now use cameras in the classroom pretty much any day of the week is fantastic. It can be very engaging to students to have the ability to incorporate a creative aspect into any subject. I have found that even in math, I am able to have students take pictures of objects around the school that we can apply math to directly. This not only allows them to be creative, but shows them how math is applicable to real life.

    • Thanks for mentioning IMDB. I live on this site and am preaching the news of it to all of my students (and friends). 🙂

      I think that as mentioned there are a few must-have apps, Youtube, Google should be included.

      While I do not have the benefit of capitalizing on a BYOD policy we do use: prezi, Wordle, Glogster, Issuu, Edmodo, itunes, and iMovie are constant tools in my courses. A BYOD for my courses would greatly improve opportunities for collaboration and participation in learning communities.

      As for specific examples: Prezi, Wordle and Glogster are all used in place of the traditional Power Bore…oops, I mean Power Point presentations.

      In my journalism class students use Garage band and iTunes to create and post podcasts. Issuu is where we make our magazine available to the world. This is a polished looking magazine that anyone can access. The real world implications of a magiazine that has reached over 65, 000 views has really inspired the students more than our old newspaper that was received 670 views when printed and distributed around the school.

      We use Edmodo in prepration for the publishing of the magazine as students upload images and articles to the student Editors and they also meet online for discussions and post comments to each other.


  2. In addition to Google and YouTube, a few other apps (all of which are free) that I think would be really useful for students to have in a BYOD program are the following:

    (1) Drop box: It is easy to setup an account and once each student has one, folders with any type of document can easily be uploaded and shared.

    (2) Evernote: This digital notebook application can be quite helpful in students note taking and organization since they can write notes or more complete texts like they would with Microsoft word, tag keywords and add images or audio to the note As well, each note written (along with the entire notebook) can be shared with others.

    (3) Viddy: While Vimeo can be a good app, I believe Viddy is easier to use and offers more since in addition to quickly recording, editing and sharing a video, students also have the option to add music or visual effects.

    (4) Wunderlist: This app is meant to help keep a student and the entire class organized with notes, task lists, due dates and reminders. In using it, a teacher can create a task list and share it with the students, monitor student sharing and send reminders to the class both through the app and via email. As well, all lists are synced to the wunderlist website so it can be accessed from a desktop/laptop computer too.

  3. Good questions.
    1. The first apps that come to mind are Google and YouTube. I also like the suggestions of an organizing app and storage app. The company site would also be the required.
    2. If we are ever able to do this at my organization I would need to do more research around which apps are suitable. Depending on the training that I am developing the app could be related to WHMIS, Emergency Response, electrical codes, and sites like WorkSafeBC and MSDS.
    3. Activities with the apps could include anything from using the information in a practical sense (e.g.: identifying hazard symbols) to preparing for a mandatory assessment by taking practice tests.

  4. 1) Apps/sites that are necessary (regardless of subject area) for students effectively use a BYOD approach in your classroom?
    a. Google Docs and Google Apps for education
    b. Symbaloo

    2) Apps/sites that students should have access to in order to facilitate learning ‘O’ level chemistry.
    a. Chemistry Experiment Simulations and Conceptual Computer Animations @ from the Chemical Education Research Group of the Department of Chemistry of Iowa State University
    b. The Periodic Table app by socratica- Offers reference information about each element. The app offers audio clips to help users learn pronunciations of the names of the elements. It also includes a quiz mode
    c. RealCalc Scientific Calculator By Quartic software – A fully featured scientific calculator which looks and operates like the real thing. It turns your android smartphone into a mean number crunching machine while staying connected on the field.

    3) A specific activity/lesson that incorporates BYOD look like (provide a brief description)
    Acid base titration
    a. After establishing an understanding of acid and bases the class will then browse to to complete this activity using the simulation on the page
    @ . They are free to help each other and intervention from the teacher is only to guide.
    Once completed similar problems are given to concrete the concept before moving on to doing actual titrations.

  5. 1) Some kind of search engine, youtube, a photo-editing program, and note-taking app. In addition something like Dropbox and a note-taking app would be crucial across all subject areas.
    2) There are a few video sites for social studies (NFB, CBC) and some information sites through the Nelson Science textbooks we use that are great for extending concepts. A photoprocessing or video-ediitng program is useful for alternate representations in any subject area, but particularly language arts, for students with written output issues.
    3) I get my students to do oral JAM’s (Just a Minute) to practice their research and presentation skills on subject-specific areas. For their research they can use any “verified” source. They condense the information they find on a wordprocessing program then share their knowledge in a minute of speaking in front of the class.

  6. I can’t speak to question (1) directly, but the suggestions above seem good and I imagine something like Ubuntu’s edu-secondary App bundle might take off in the future.

    I found the Rocky View School District Cold War project quite interesting.

    Using BYOD, not only can students greater technological proficiency, but their assignment allows them to cultivate important academic skills such as analysis, critical thinking, and research (primary and secondary, and even historiagraphical), all in a manner that is colourful, engaging and collaborative.

    • Linux distros like Ubuntu provide an interesting opportunity to support a BYOD program. Since it can run exclusively from a USB stick and has relatively low system requirements, you could ask every student to provide their own machine, but then give everyone a USB stick that runs a live version of Ubuntu. Everyone would be running the same operating system at the same time and you get the benefit of having everyone using a common system but when they are done, they remove the USB stick, reboot, and go back to whatever system they were using. This way, you also get to support open source.

      • I had no clue that Ubuntu could simply be run from a memory stick alone. Thank you for that. We were discussing apps at work that could effectively be used in a BYOD environment and becuase Ubuntu can be used on a computer as well as a mobile device, I will be sure to look into it a bit further.

  7. I agree with the above, google and youtube seem like no brainers, but I also like the ideas of Rebecca’s photo-taking software, drop boxes and note taking. One I would add is Google Earth.

    As a social studies teacher there are tonnes of different things you can do with google earth. Because my school does not have BYOD when I do versions of these lessons/ideas, it is me doing it on the screen and getting feedback and input from the class, which is not as powerful as it could be if the students were doing the lessons themselves with a device in front of them.

    For great lessons using google earth, check out (not only for Social Studies either).

    one cool lesson that I stole from the site is called “Where are we from?”. I haven’t had the ability to do the lesson to its full potential yet, but have adapted it for a class without superior tech resources.

    the overview: “in this lesson students use Google Earth (Technology) to locate where they are born and where they are now (in your school)(Geography). They then create an image overlay using an arrow graphic connecting the two points (Geometry) and measure the distance between the two points (General Math). The placemark folders are then compiled by the teacher into a single folder with the end result being an informative graphic display of the origins of the students that make up the class population. Meanwhile, the students use the distance data for the class to calculate various aspects of the data in order to ultimately make determinations about how the data represents the class population.”

    to see the full lesson, check out the link!

  8. BYOD and computer literacy skills

    I hate to pour water on everyone’s parade, but I usually do when I present a post-secondary perspective. I consider a person’s education from child to adult, as a series of loose partnerships as elementary school hands off students to middle school then to high school then to post-secondary and finally to the workforce. Post-secondary institutes usually provide the final level of education and training in a student’s educational journey before they graduate and start their careers.

    I work for a Polytechnic that deals with trades, technology and business and we are tied close to the industries that employ our graduates, so we know what skills and competencies industry requires in our graduates. So in a way we are responsible for the students final polishing, usually through two year diplomas, to get them ready to launch their careers, whether it is as a Diagnostic Imaging Technician, Electrical Engineering Technologist, Hotel Manager or Accountant, to name just a few.

    The examples given here in this module provide great opportunities for the students to be innovative and creative with a wide diversity of new, exciting and very practical applications that have many benefits. The gap that I see here, that I read about in the literature and that I hear from our Instructors and Academic Chairs is: students coming into post-secondary institutes are technology savoy, yes, but there is a major piece missing in their computer and digital literacy skills. That missing piece is their lack of knowledge, experience and skills using Microsoft Office Productivity tools: Word, Excel, Access and PowerPoint. Whether it be University, College or Polytechnics, students need to use these tools (along with all of the other new and exciting tools) to function and succeed. Most programs require students to write and Word is still the workhorse for writing in post-secondary and in industry. Any students going into business, technical and scientific fields need to know how to use spreadsheets and databases to help them with their analysis and for number crunching and finally, they all need to know how to use PowerPoint for presentations.

    Now I may sound old fashioned and out of touch with this perspective, especially in this Educational Technology program. However the reality at post-secondary and in the business world is most of these new Apps are nice to haves, but the must haves are still the Office Productivity tools. So the question that I would like to present is how can BYOD support students to acquire the knowledge, skills and practice in using standard Office Productivity tools to succeed in post-secondary education and in the workforce.

    • I wholeheartedly agree with your point about the need for integrating basic productivity apps into our programs. We have gone from teaching programming in courses called ‘computer science’ to using productivity applications in courses called ‘information technology’ to teaching iMovie in courses called ‘ICT’ to teaching Garageband in a fully integrated program where Technology isn’t taught as a discreet subject at all. With each move, we may gain something valuable, but we gave up some important skills, many of which are still relevant and would help these kids work more efficiently and to get jobs once they graduate.

      That being said, in the case of office applications, you can teach a whole lot about spreadsheets using the tools in Google spreadsheets. You can even write your own macros for Google Spreadsheets and do it using Javascript rather than VBA (

      If you want something more robust, you can ask your BYOD students to use Portable Apps, all free, mostly open-source, all of which run from a USB stick ( It includes OpenOffice which is close enough.

      So, a BYOD program can still support teaching these productivity tools. The problem is getting someone to teach it.

    • Hi Doug, thanks for the post. What you mention, really gets me thinking. I feel that in education, it’s very seldom about implementing the tools used/learned but it’s about what we learn from using the tool. Although using many of the apps in a byod environment will not necessarily affect me as a professional, it gives me something to think about, which I hope will further my learning, or at the very least, impact how I learn. Being a mathematics major, I can easily say that what I learned in completing that degree, i haven’t had to use the slightest bit. But I’m glad I learned what I learned. I learned how to learn, and most importantly, I learned how to think critically, analyze, troubleshoot, and problem solve.

      Now back to your question about how BYOD can be leveraged to support the use of productivity tools, skills, and practice required to succeed in post-secondary, and in the workforce. The rampant use of mobile (BYOD) devices, I feel, automatically addresses the issue of digital literacy. In order for students to success, students have to be able to masterfully use the computer. In terms of office productivity tools, if the BYOD environment provides meaningful tasks, including but not limited to reading, writing, etc, then wouldn’t this help build that literacy. Regardless of the app, they are still learning how to write. And if they can write on a small screen, using an app, I don’t see why they wouln’t be able to write using a program like Word.


    • Hi Doug,

      I think you touched on something rather important here, namely that teachers should not assume that lower level technology skills are being acquired, in our quest to teach higher level skills. Every semester I am surprised to find many students in my communications technology classes which entirely unsure exactly how to download a photo from a digital camera or insert a simple table into a word document. I think many teachers assume that so called “digital natives” magically arrive in our classes knowing everything there is to know about technology, which is far from the case. In my classes in particular, they often seem to be experts at consuming media using technology, but few of them are competent are creating media which communicates effectively.


    • Doug,
      I couldn’t agree more. Even at the Elementary School level this is an issue. I can never assume what has been taught before. It makes it tricky when planning a lesson because half of your class may have come from a teacher experienced with technology and the other half was taught using computers only a handful of times, it at all. I find this really frustrating. In my district all schools are being required to come up with a technology plan this year. I have suggested that within the plan there needs to be a scope and sequence of ICT skills that should be formally taught at each grade level. I believe we are failing our kids when we don’t teach this basic knowledge. At Grade four I have met children who did not know how the return button worked in Word, or how to capitalize. The district of West Vancouver has some great scope and sequence examples. I have one for elementary should anyone wish to see an example.

      Related to this topic and BYOD is a bigger problem. With some teachers using and teaching with technology and still many others who are not, the schools are reinforcing the digital divide of those students who have the technology and skills and those that don’t. I might even add a third category here – those that have the technology but only have the knowledge for limited use such as playing games.

      Doug et al., thanks for the great discussion.

    • I totally agree with Doug on the need to not forget some of the basics like Power Point , Excel etc. Kids will not only need these when they go on to further education, but also at work. They are basic tools that will always be needed, while the APPs COME and go; if anything, we need to show them how to search for and evaluate tools they may find online.
      As to Doug’s last question, I feel many APPs can act as a springboard or in conjunction with some of the Office tools, and that’s what we should be aiming for.

    • Great points have come out of this discussion. I believe most have picked up on my point that the students of today are digital savvy, however not in a holistic way. They are the experts in social networking and the applications that they are shown and encouraged to use in school. However we can’t assume that means they are savvy at everything digital they touch or have not touched. We do make the mistake of assuming this on a daily basis.

      Just because students have used a related cloud based app or have used Google drive or Google spreadsheet, does not necessarily mean their experiences transfer well into using Office Productivity tools effectively and efficiently, especially if they have limited or no experience with these tools. A large part of using these tools correctly is being shown how to use them by exposing them to all of the functions that they offer. It seems like students are less and less experienced using these tools until they get to post-secondary when they hit the wall. Most programs have a basic computer class focused on the office productivity tools because students coming in don’t have these skills to succeed. I have heard many a comment from Instructors wondering how these digital natives got this far in life with so little knowledge and experience using these basic tools.

      If a school encourages BYOD, then my concern is, the opportunity for students to learn and use Office Productivity tools erodes even further, as many mobile devices are not capable or even well suited to using these tools effectively. Personally I can’t imagine using a mobile device to write a paper or use a spreadsheet to organize and analyze data. Maybe it is just me, but I like my “big screen” and full keyboard to do all of this.

  9. Dropbox, Notability

    For a more intermediate grade — I see power in allowing them to create their content. As a result, the web itself is extremely powerful for delivering content. Specific apps help narrow the search results but those are dependent on their interests and the content being taught in school at the time. What is important is for files to be distributed quickly across platforms and for students to be able to 1)record their voice/themselves in video 2) be able to type text 3) manipulate them into some form of a presentation.

    Sounds simple but the apps themselves will constantly change as better ideas emerge. Students themselves will discover apps by going to the apps store or simply surfing. They will find solutions to the problems and what works best!

    For primary students — the apps provide a simplified experience and are essential. I’m curating through lots of apps right now and have only found bits and pieces. I’m curious about what others have to say about primary apps.

  10. A BYOD program would likely increase reliance on cloud-based apps and as others hav already indicated, products such as Google Docs/Drive, ZOHO Office etc… will play an important role in allowing students using different platforms to view one another’s work and to collaborate. I would also encourage users to keep a USB drive handy with portable apps ( on it. These run from the USB device without the need for further installation. They are cross-platform and can be shared as easily as by handing your USB stick to your partner.

    • Thanks for sharing! I can see how having these ready to go on a USB could be highly beneficial in a classroom. Cloud-based apps that allow for and encourage student collaboration seem to be of high interest. BYOD programs could make these apps more accessible to students inside the classroom as well as outside the classroom.

  11. 1) Apps/sites such as Google for performing searches, YouTube for easily viewing videos, Evernote for taking notes that they will have access to from any device, Dropbox, or perhaps a social bookmarking tool such as
    2) Since I am a math teacher, I would like students to have access to a graphing calculator app and an app such as iBooks where they can access a PDF version of their textbook or a workbook specific app compatible with tablets and other modifications in the workbook.
    3) The workbook that I use for my high school math courses has recently come out with an Apple compatible version good for use on the iPhone or iPad (soon to come out with a PC compatible version). I would like to see students completing their work in here because they can access tutorials online through their devices, keep extra notes on their devices, and use a graphing calculator app to do their work.

  12. I have been experimenting with a myriad of Apps over the past few years in my classroom and will share how I have categorized them. I hope you find these useful:

    1) Student utilities
    Prezi Viewer, Dropbox, Comic Life, Doodle Buddy, Dragon Dictation, Dictionary, Show Me, Screen Chomp, 2 Screens, Quickoffice pro, Evernote, Goodreader, Pages, Keynote, etc….

    2) Photgraphy/video
    Snapseed, iPhoto, sketchbook, sonicpics, eyewitness, wider image, skitch, ps express, FlickrPLus, iMovie, Videolicious, SloPro.

    3) Math
    iconverter, easy geometry, investment, wolfram alpha, imathematics, angle meter.

    4) Science
    ElementsPro, Science360, discover, 3D brain, molecules, our choice, living earth, video physics, tinkerbox, earthquakes, solar walk, spacecraft3D, project noah, virtual body.

    When it comes to what apps students need in order to implement BYOD, I think they would need apps that are capable of doing the following tasks:
    1) Web browser to search the Internet
    2) Capture pictures and videos
    3) Edit pictures and videos
    4) Share/transfer/email – documents/pictures/videos

    To me, the biggest affordance of mobile devices is the ability to point and shoot pictures or videos and upload them with one touch. Most mobile devices come with these apps already installed and so using a variety of devices in a classroom can be successful if you keep things simple. With the apps I mentioned above, I understand that students will have restricted access and so most are used for demonstration purposes only. When trying something new such as BYOD, it is best to start small and see where it goes…..

  13. First off… in my district I am fairly limited to using some cloud based programs because of the BC’s Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA). Basically in a nutshell, we are not allowed to have student’s use any program that stores their work or personal information outside of Canada. If a student has a signed media consent form and if one wishes to ‘interpret’ one of the paragraphs that discusses this issue as informed consent, then we can proceed but have been cautioned. Therefore this limits my ability to use some of my favourite apps/programs such as Dropbox, GoogleApps, YouTube, Evernote, Blogger, WordPress, Kidblog, Edmodo, etc…

    That said, there are still many apps I can use. Keeping in mind that I work at the Elementary level these are the apps I would want on BYOD devices:

    – Safari or Chrome or some sort of browser
    – A QR code reader
    – Pages or some other word processing program
    – ShowME
    – Explain Everything
    – Mind Mash
    – Slideshow Lite
    – NFB Pixstop
    – Voice Thread
    – Dragon Dictation
    – Socrative

    For subject specific apps:
    Social Studies – Google maps
    Language Arts – PopWords, LittleSpeller, Bluster, Word Bingo, Rocket Speller, Sight Words, Sentence Maker, TeachMe various grades, Toontastic, StoryWheel
    Mathematics – Numberline, Multiples, FindSums, Equivalents, Fractions, ClockMaster, Squeeze, McGraw-Hill Multiplication or Addition or Divisibility or Fractions, Subtraction Sardines, Hungry Fish, Photo Touch Telling Time
    Fine Arts – Drawing Pad, Draw Some, Doodle Buddy, Drawing Box

    A specific activity that I might use with BYOD would be to give students an open ended math problem. I would ask the students to use hands-on manipulatives, or a drawing app to help them solve the problem. I would then request that they use a program such as explain everything to take photos of how they solved the problem and record their voices explaining their mathematical thinking and understanding. If my students had an ePortfolio, I would then have them upload this clip to that site.

  14. 1) What are some of the apps/sites you feel are necessary (regardless of subject area) for students to have installed in order to effectively use a BYOD approach in your classroom?

    GoogleEarth, Audacity, Google sketch, Prezi, Wordle, Drangonspeak, Wikkipedia

    2) What are some of the more subject specific apps/sits that students should have access to in order to facilitate learning within a given subject area?

    I personally teach computer and special ed courses and I like to allow students to use the computers to create visual tools as a means of expression. I also feel that students can learn a lot through playing. Hence, I think tools such as Mindcraft, Khan-academy, Pencil animation and Storyjumper would be very helpful.

    3) Based on your response from #2, what would a specific activity/lesson that incorporates BYOD look like (provide a brief description)

    I would ask my students to use Google to find a picture of a 3D object with different dimensions, shapes, depth, etc. I would then get them to use Mindcraft to recreate a similar scene. My hope would be to help students learn about spacial awareness, measurement, etc. Having their own devices would allow each child to have access to their own technology and they would not have to wait or take turns to work on their projects or worry about computers that are not functioning Those who do not have their own devices could use the ones provided by the school.

  15. Regarding # 1, these are some possible APPs/sites:

    You tube
    Wondershare or ANIMOTO
    Ted Talks
    Kindle for Android or iPad
    Comic Life
    Story Kit

    Regarding what a lesson would look like, I prepared one using ANIMOTO

    Example of the tool being used in the context of ESL/EFL:

    Lesson idea/s:
    “Let’s go on vacation”

    Practice vocabulary and language related to vacations and places. Practice ‘going to…’ for talking about future plans.

    Advanced preparation:

    Use Animoto to create a video presentation of images related to travel, vacations and means of transportation(click and view following video to see an example Let’s go on vacation! ). You can use the images in the Animoto files, or you could get the students to bring in images for you to scan, save as a picture file (.jpg or .jpn) and use.

    Ask students about where they like to go on vacation; how they get there; what they see etc.
    Tell them you are going to play a video presentation on the topic, and they should look out for the places and transportation etc. they see. Play the video.
    After the video, ask them what they remember. Discuss the names of the places; the transportation they saw; which places they’d like to visit, etc.
    In groups, ask student to choose a place they would like to visit and plan the whole trip: transportation, what they are going to do, eat, visit etc. Students could make a presentation on Animoto or using magazine pictures.
    Have a film day. Show everyone’s videos.

  16. Regarding question 1, I don’t think there is a specific requirements for apps/sites to effectively use a BYOD approach. Different devices use different web/mobile browsers and other software for doing day to day tasks. Depending upon a specific requirement, appropriate apps can be purchased free or at cost to meet those needs.

    In order to facilitate learning within a given subject area, students should have access to apps for searching the web (Google/Bing), play video content (YouTube), PDF reader and MS Office document reader to address the basic requirements of reviewing handouts and course material.

    For a specific lesson/activity to work properly on most devices, it should be designed keeping into consideration the devices available to majority of the students (conduct a student survey if required). Special consideration should be given to avoid developing content using a specific software/app that is only available for certain devices. In order to ensure all students can properly access a learning activity, instructors should typically use the least common denominator of technologies such as MS Office/ PDF documents and web based exercises. For complex, multimedia based activities, appropriate apps for each device should be tested to ensure students are able to complete the learning activities in the device available to them.

  17. 1. YouTube, a search engine, Google Docs, Drop Box, a voice recorder/editing, video recorder/editing, narration/dictation, e-reader/kindle, Wikipedia.

    2. I think that all I have mentioned at “1” are important.

    3. I have found that many students like the anonymity of podcast. They are easy to make, can be easy to edit and upload. On oral presentation lesson could include a presentation via podcast. Students would co-author, edit and publish their scripts using Google Docs. They can use the voice recorder on their mobile phone, for example, to record their podcast. They could upload to the class’s site (assuming there is one) for feedback.

  18. 1) I seem to have a long list of generic apps/sites I find necessary (maybe this is a reflection of my love of software technology and tools) First depending on the device I recommend anti-virus software of some sort. After this:

    – backup tools like dropbox ,
    – a web browser,
    – search engine such as google,
    – email app for asynchronous communication
    – skype or facetime, google chat/hangouts for synchronous communication
    – collaboration tools such as google docs, google hangouts
    – calendar app such as google calendar
    – wikipedia as a launch pad for further investigation/research/analysis
    – video content sites such as youtube and vimeo
    – book marking tool like,
    – note taking app such as notability or perhaps evernote which covers a few tool categories
    – text editors/presentation tools such as MS office suite, prezi etc
    – blogging and wiki tools for content publication and communication/collaboration
    – multimedia creation tools for animation and sound.

    I am sure if I think about it some more I will have a never ending list so I will stop here.

    2) As a non teacher I will say what I find specific for the MET courses and I have to say all of the above + access to library resources and online journals.

    3) I do not think I need to tell everyone what they already know if I am basing this on our MET courses but I am sure that each of us all us different devices and software tools and utilities in different ways as we partake in the various course activities.

  19. I have to say that I love this growing list of Apps and tools. I am adding this page to my Delicious account so that I can come back and check this out when I have more time. Thanks for offering this space to share what has been working for others!


  20. 1) What are some of the apps/sites you feel are necessary (regardless of subject area) for students to have installed in order to effectively use a BYOD approach in your classroom?
    I agree with Ken, this is a wealth of app resources on this page. I will not repeat what so many have already stated. I would say that I could not do much without dropbox these days. It is a key app for media professionals.

    2) What are some of the more subject specific apps/sits that students should have access to in order to facilitate learning within a given subject area?
    For filmmaking students, these would be important:
    – Celtx – free screenwriting and production management software
    – itunes
    -iphoto, photoshop, premiere or FCP (not just imovie) ***Adobe now has a cloud service where you can have the Creative Suite for cloud subscription. This is revolutionary, as it used to cost much money to install their software.
    – Quick Time
    – Basecamp (as one option for coordination)
    – Protools (but cheaper option is Garage Band, but it’s not the same)
    – Movie Magic Budgeting and Scheduling (if wanting to work at a professional standard).
    – dropbox for file transfers
    – marketing – FB, twitter, vimeo, youtube

    3) Based on your response from #2, what would a specific activity/lesson that incorporates BYOD look like (provide a brief description)

    I ask the students to incorporate FB, twitter, youtube or vimeo into their marketing assignments for their film productions. They often upload their posters, trailers and crew information to a facebook page, they make efforts to twitter (although this dies down very quickly after the assignment) and upload trailers to vimeo/youtube.

  21. 1) Some freewares and webwares I can think of that would help enhance the BYOD approach are Open Office, IHMC Cmap Tools, Google Apps for Education,, and WebQuest.Org.

    2) Some subject specific apps/sites are
    English: Dictionary/Thesaurus/
    Social Studies:
    Math: Google Scientific Calculator, Unit Converter
    Science: Dynamic Periodic Table
    Arts: FlockDraw

    3) A possible Social Studies lesson could make use of’s This Day in History database where students work in pairs or small groups to create a class timeline of major events that happened in history using students’ birthdates. Students can then use Google Maps to find the various locations of the events that happened on their birthdates in history and provide a summary of their findings as a description for the location pinpointed on a private map created by the teacher. This lesson would help students see how history can connect with their lives. An extension could be having the students find important events that happened in history using the birthdates of their relatives located on maps created by students themselves.

    – James

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