I began my journey in Office 365 because I had a vision. I wanted to move my students’ work online because it would improve some things in their practice and allow me to improve some things in mine.
I wanted students to be able to work online so that they could access their work from both school and home. Ideally they could access it anywhere. I wanted to take advantage of spellcheck for my many students for whom English is not their first language. I wanted to make editing their writing something that could be accomplished easily, especially for my students with learning disabilities. I also wanted to make it possible to take advantage of the many resources on the Internet, while at the same time teaching students how and why they need to cite their sources.
But in order to accomplish this I had to tackle a few questions:
What do I do when not every kid has a device?
What do I do when not every device is the same?
I began the year by having students bring their devices. It had to be a device they were allowed to bring to school on a regular basis, and their parents needed to sign the BYOD permission form. What I got was a lot of different devices. Some brought laptops, both new and old. Some brought iPads, including a few iPad mini’s. There were two Microsoft Surface 2’s and a few Samsung Galaxy tablets. One girl could brought her phone.
In my inventory, I had two, then three refurbished desktops, and then later I got a couple of Chromebooks on loan. I also had a first generation Surface RT, on which I set up local accounts for several students.