Last semester I invited PEDs or personal electronic devices into to my classroom and while it was not perfect, overall there were more advantages than disadvantages.
This semester I wanted to improve this experience and enrich our class culture and community. To this end I decided I would ask students to co-create the policy for technology use for our class.
We started with a “whiteboard mingle”. Students went from white board to white board and students wrote under 3 topics:
1) When OK to use
2) When inappropriate to use
Students then worked alone, and completed the same prompts on a sheet of paper. Next class they shared their points with a partner and worked together to reduce their points down to 3 per question. The partners then paired up with another 2 students, and they again worked together to reduce their points to three per prompt. We then took a class vote on a collective “top three”.
What we got to is as below:
Our Class Policy for PED Use
Times when OK to Use:
1. While working, when useful for learning, for planning (calendar/list), to look something up, research.
2. When we are prompted or asked to (ex. when tweeting or blogging etc.)
3. When someone is not talking to me.
1. Earphones super loud.
2. FULL blown phone conversations.
3. During tests.
1. Reliable, Responsible, Nice to Each other
2.Follow your heart
While at first I felt slightly disappointed with the outcome (they didn’t sound very officious, and they weren’t that clear), I realized that this policy really rocked! For one it was plain as day that all students has a pretty clear idea of inappropriate use; students really know the way to behave, we don’t really have to tell them in 1000 different ways. I also noticed that students were not really clear on when and how to use their technology, here they were confused and need some help. Student responses from the “Trust” prompt impressed me the most, this only became clear though when we discussed it in class.
This process lead me to reflect that students know a lot of good stuff already and are full of wisdom, humour and good intentions.
To seal the deal, we all signed the policy and hung it on the wall.
Voila! One PED policy done!