Bring Your Own (Technology) Device - "BYOD"
A technology device will be considered a necessary school supply item for all Forest Lake Area Middle School students.
The ability to access, evaluate, use, and create information is key to success in this Age of Information. Technology loses its impact in the classroom when it is reduced to an "event", like the weekly trip to the computer lab. It is akin to saying to students, "Today is our day to use pencils. We won't have access to them again for a while, so be sure you get any work that requires a pencil completed today."
Technology, like a pencil, should be used whenever it is appropriate, instead of whenever it is available. Student writing is enhanced when technology is used to restructure and rewrite documents. In addition, dictionaries, thesauri, and graphic organizers are readily available to support the writing process. Beyond writing, technology offers students a way to research, create, organize, and store information in many formats. Technology is also central to communication, allowing students to collaborate with teachers, peers, and other outside resources. In addition, the learning process is enhanced when students are able to pose and answer their own questions. All of these skills prepare students for a future of self-directed and life-long learning.
In order for these learning experiences to happen in a meaningful and ongoing way, students need "anywhere, anytime" access to technology. We believe students will benefit greatly from using their own technology, and therefore, such a device is a necessary school-supply item.
What device is best?
Every student is different and may have differing needs for technology. Consider the needs of your individual child to determine what the right device for his/her is learning. That said, we are seeing great success with students who are using Chromebooks. They are affordable (many are under $250), small & light (the 11” models seem ideal), have great battery life (most will run in excess of 6 hours on a charge), and support a wide range of student learning activities, from using Google docs (online word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, websites, and more) to general web applications.
Device Specifications must-haves:
- Wi-Fi capable
- 7” Screen or Bigger
- QWERTY Keyboard
- 4+ Hour Battery Life
- Camera and Microphone
Chromebook loan program
If purchasing a device for your student is not feasible, we have a Chromebook loan program that is available. Click here for the forms, which are also available at school. Students and a guardian will be required to sign the form before receiving a device for use during the school year.
Will technology be used in every class, every day?
Technology is a tool, and it will be used when and where it is appropriate and meaningful to learning. It is important to realize that there are areas of learning where the technology may only provide limited support, or may even be inappropriate. Our goal is not to be "all-tech, all the time". The goal is to harness the power of technology when it adds value to the learning process. Students are required to bring their devices to school each day. Forest Lake Area Middle School BYOD Expectations
If you have any questions, please email our Building Tech at Bernie Zeller.