Monday, September 30, 2013


This is it - the moment of truth. 

Writing tests with laptops/tablets/phones...

After our first unit of BYOD, proficiency-based, independent learning, the students in my class wrote their first test on Friday & today. Here are the results:

That's quite the distribution. Upon first reflection, I'm not sure it's much different than any math class I've taught previously.

If you're a stat-head like me, then read on...

Out of the 26 students that wrote the test:
  • 19 (73% of class) passed
  • 10 (38% of class) received level 3+ (measure of success in Ontario standardized tests; equivalent to 70%+)
  • Average grade: 62%
  • Median grade: 62%
  • Mode: 60% and 100% (2 students each)
  • Standard Deviation: 25.4%

Some random thoughts:

The fact that the mean and median are identical tells us that on the whole the data was spread evenly above and below the mean (ie. there's not one piece of data really dragging the central tendency up or down). The large standard deviation also indicates the large spread in results.

I'm not sure how to interpret the success rates, though. I would expect to see a measurable proportion of the students achieving high marks, since some students came "down" to this level of math from the academic course last year. Identically, I would expect to see a measurable proportion of the students achieving low marks, since they moved "up" from the applied course last year. We see both of these trends in the data.

I'm elated 10 of my students earned 70%+ on the test, but my attention turns to the other 16 students who I would like to see improve. Upon self-reflection, many of the students who struggled felt there was "too much" on the test (as in, too many learning goals (8) were covered) and it was hard for them to remember everything (see my post: Checkpoint). Others just never got to the later learning goals, and instead of trying to learn on their own, chose instead to just prepare the first 5 or 6 concepts for the test.

The modal group of 51-60% bothers me the most. To me, this indicates students who get most of what we do, but either through a lack of practice, lack of review, or not making it to the end of the learning goals, do not excel on cumulative evaluations. How can I get this group engaged?

My goals:

For the next unit test, I would like to raise the test pass rate from 73% to 85%, and raise the provincial standard success rate from 38% to 50%.  I have a couple of strategies in mind (see, again, my post: Checkpoint), so we'll see how it goes!

I would also like to start tracking (ack! more tracking!) which device each student uses most, and see if that has a correlation with their mark. Does it matter if a student prefers a laptop or a smart phone? Whether it is their own device or a school-owned device?

Afterthought - Two students, who joined the class only a few days before the test, wrote the test as a take-home assignment. Since the test, two more students have joined my class, bringing my class total to 30. I'll still try for the same percentages, though... the more, the merrier!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Moment of Truth

So here we are. 13 school days after the start of the first unit in our BYOD class, and our unit test is tomorrow.

Throughout the unit, the students have made their way through the 8 learning goals and the tasks associated with each of them - some formative, some investigative, some creative. They were reminded to complete the exit slips for each learning goal on their own, but I know some of them collaborated (and really, I'm okay with that, since they're working together and learning together). Their quizzes (there were two) were more independent, but with the busy-ness of class, and students moving around the room continually, I still can't be 100% sure they did them on their own either.

Tomorrow's test will be the first time many of these students will be demonstrating their mastery completely on their own. What have they really learned over the past three weeks? How confident are they in their newly-gained knowledge? How well has our new system of independently-driven learning worked?

Here is an update on our progress through the unit. Many of the students have now powered through most of the exit slips, leaving the more "cumbersome" (lengthy) tasks for the time being. We'll have time to revisit those after Friday's test; they'll only be tested on the 8 learning goals.

There's something that's really bothering me though. One of the focusses of this new style of learning is that students move at their own pace. They demonstrate their mastery when they are ready to, and not before. But as with most teachers, I struggle with trying to complete curriculum in a timely manner. What if a student is not ready to be tested on this unit until next week? Next month? December?

Obviously, according to this chart, there are some students who are NOT yet ready to be tested on the unit (unless they have moved forward on their own, which I know some of them have). Is it fair to test them on everything tomorrow? How much emphasis can I place on a time-based expectation (they have known about this end-of-unit test date since the beginning of the unit)? Where is the balance between letting students move at their own pace but still managing their time and adhering to deadlines?

I'm nervous to see the results of this first BYOD, proficiency-based learning. Test results to follow...

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Small Successes...

Approaching the end of the first unit, there is still lots of craziness in this class.

I am still feeling run off my feet during the class itself (but WOW does it ever make the time fly!!), still chasing students to get work handed in, still catching students on the occasional online game (but really, it's quite rare), and still trying to convince them that they don't have to wait for me if they don't understand something... with all sorts of resources at their disposal, and a growing number of experts in the class as we move through the material, they really can master these tasks themselves.

The trick is trying to convince them of this before their frustration turns into random conversations about the weekend and, well, anything other than math.

But we are starting to see small successes. Over the past few days, I've heard students say:

"I didn't get time to review this in class, but I'll take a look at the videos tonight at home." (yay!)

"I'm going to work at the back of the class where it's quiet so I can get caught up." (hoorah!)

"I worked ahead last night - can I get exit slips 2, 3, and 4?" (awesome!)

(During a mini-lecture:) "Is it true that you change the sign on the x-coordinate? I read that while I was waiting for the lesson." (you read ahead?? fantastic!!)

I see students teaching other students how to get Google Docs started. I see students working together in Geometer's Sketchpad to figure out how to limit the domain of their functions. I see students light up when they believe an exit slip - on material that was self-taught - is completely wrong when instead it is perfect.

We're still far from the ideal classes they always show in those PD videos, but we're getting there.

Here's our progress chart (which the students LOVE, by the way... they refer to it constantly during class), two school days after the last time I posted it, as we approach the test on Friday (marked in yellow). How will my students do on the unit test? How well have they really been learning the material? How confident will they feel, having learned the material on their own terms? I have to admit I'm nervous to find out...

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Giving In?

This weekend, I've been struggling with how to proceed with the last week of our first BYOD unit. Not only do I want my students to succeed, I want them to feel that they are succeeding, and not just slogging through an endless list of tasks. 

With many of them stuck on the 4th of ten Learning Goals (and only then because of the nature of the investigative task asked of them - see previous blog post - and not because of the difficulty of that particular Learning Goal), is it worth my while pushing them through the last six Learning Goals in time for the unit test this Friday, as was expected of them at the outset of the unit?

Part of me says: YES. As students getting ready for college and university, they NEED to learn how to manage their time. 

If they haven't been able to budget their time wisely, should there not be consequences? If not, how will they learn to respect deadlines, or learn how to force themselves to focus on a task in order to get ahead of the game, or keep up with the competition, or even just get their bills paid on time? They have had this deadline since the beginning of the unit (13 days ago); I can't be soft on my expectations. Give them an inch and they'll start demanding miles.

But another part of me says: NO. 

This is the learning pattern I've been staring at for the past few years - students wading through the course material, trying frantically to just get caught up or stay on top of the latest topic. Concepts are given a passing glance, memorized long enough to regurgitate on a test and then forgotten. The course is not enjoyed, and the work becomes just another burden. This is one of the patterns I wanted to try and break in attempting this new BYOD format. 

So, against my nature, I think I will "give in" (well, maybe it's not really giving in, but it sort of feels like it is). I'm going to move the last two Learning Goals of the first unit to the next unit. I'm hoping this will alleviate some of the pressure the very-behind students are feeling (though still providing some pressure to get through the last four Learning Goals for Friday's test). 

I'm also hoping this will give the students who are working at- or near-on-pace a bit of breathing room, and a chance to really get into the MASK-e-MATICS unit project before the test (and give them a fun way to demonstrate what they've learned so far).

We'll see how the students react when we review and edit the master list tomorrow. I'm worried that some of those students will still be demanding that mile instead of being happy with the inch… will they be able to pull it together in time for the test at the end of the week?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Why is Investigation so Hard?

At the end of the second week, with one week left to go in the unit, I wanted to get a better sense of where my students were. 

I knew roughly where they each were based on individual interactions in class, but as a whole I wasn't sure how the class was progressing. I'm also still not convinced that many of the students themselves know where they are in the unit, even though most classes start with a review of the "master list" and thinking about where we need to be to get things done on time.

So I made a large coloured chart with each student's name on the left side, and their progress through the unit's "hand in" tasks. Here's where we are (with names omitted). One student per line - the colours are only to distinguish between students.

What immediately jumped out at me was something I had suspected all week: about half of the 28 students (2 more have been added since my last blog post) stalled on the first Investigation of the unit. On the chart above, they have the first four squares coloured in, and little else.

First three exit slips and quiz? No problem. All knowledge-based tasks... practice and perform. Asked to do an investigation of how parabolae are stretched or compressed? Suddenly a task that should take one class at most, is taking the better part of THREE classes to finish. 

Students became hesitant, unsure of how to test what the investigation was asking, or how to interpret what they were doing. Most teachers (including myself) would not be surprised by this. Students often find this type of activity tough.

What did surprise me though, was how little the students tapped into the resources at their disposal to help them complete the investigation. Instead of working together (or asking each other for help), or turning to the Internet (they were all using graphing calculator apps or websites), or even picking away at it for homework when it took longer than one class (there were learning resources listed in the master document for them to consult), they chose instead to just stop working. They became distracted by conversation and online games. When I checked in with them, they would ask me about the question they happened to be on, but would then be reluctant to go further.

As a result, for some students, most of the week was spent on this single activity. With four classes left until the unit test - and one of those will be designated a review period - they will have a very tough time catching up. We'll be discussing strategies on Monday... it will be interesting to see how the students approach the week.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Slips, Slips, and More Slips

I had anticipated that with my students all working at their own pace, using a multitude of different resources, each day I would start class with a "you should be somewhere in this Learning Goal range" pep talk to make sure they were all on track. Today, for instance, with the end goal in mind, students should have been somewhere between Learning Goal 3 and Learning Goal 6.

What I hadn't anticipated, was the level of organization needed to stay on top of the multitude of assessments coming in from all these different Learning Goals. For instance, here is what came in during today's (and only today's) class:

Breaking it down, for a class of 26 (one new student was added today):

  • 1 x Learning Goal 1 (LG1) exit slip
  • 8 x LG2 exit slips
  • 4 x LG3 exit slips
  • 1 x LG4 exit slip
  • 3 x LG5 exit slips
  • 2 x LG6 exit slips
  • 8 x Quizzes (on LG1-3)
  • 2 x Investigations (on LG4)
  • 2 x Biggest Mouth activities (on LG5)

Luckily, none of these on their own takes very long to look over and assess. Students know to hand the exit slips to me directly in the class, which gives me a chance to look it over and provide immediate feedback ("Way to go - that's perfect," "Oops - one small mistake here, let's go over it," or "Numbers 1 and 3 are good, but take it back and check number 2"). 

To track student progress with the slips, I started using the TeacherKit app for the iPad ( This allows me to see at a glance where each student is relative to the ten Learning Goals in the unit. It has also proved useful when the occasional student starts class by asking "what Learning Goal am I on?" 

Each night I sort through all the slips from the day, add them to TeacherKit, and make note if I need to revisit a student about any misunderstandings. Slips then get stored for the time being - they will be delivered back to the students two days before the end-of-unit test so they can use them for review.

I'm sure it's not the perfect system, but it seems to be working for now. I would love to be more paperless, but I'm not entirely sure how at this point (comments & suggestions welcome!). The students, too, seem to prefer the "comfort" of pencil-and-paper math. We'll keep tweaking as we go.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Students' Top Choice: Lecture to a Small Group

As I mentioned in yesterday's post, the results from a survey on how my students feel they learn best indicated that as a whole, the class would prefer to learn through a teacher lecture to a small group of students (as opposed to a teacher lecture to the whole class). As a result, I try to make sure that a mini-lecture is always one of the options they can tap into to master their learning goals.

This is a different style of lecture for me. Normally I would plan a SMARTBoard lesson complete with review questions from the previous day, a chance to address the new learning goal, introduction, explanation, example questions, SMART Response clicker questions, conclusion, homework questions. Throw in some applicable or humourous graphics for "engagement." 

In a 75-minute class, I would bank on my lectures taking 20-30 minutes, longer if there were many questions from the class (but usually there weren't). Lots of work for me beforehand; students would dutifully write it all down (or not), the room was mostly quiet for that time, and then they would all have the information they needed to master the material. Right?

(Did I mention that I felt like my teaching just wasn't cutting it in recent years??)

Enter the mini-lecture. 10 minutes at most, focused on one single learning goal. No frills, bells, whistles or funny pictures. As we get organized at the beginning of the class, and the students get settled into their tasks for the period, I ask them if anyone would like to hear the mini-lecture on a given learning goal. Anywhere from three to eight hands usually go up. We cluster around one of the large tables in the class, me right in with them with a 3'x2' white board and a handful of markers, and away we go...

Learning Goal 1: I can determine when a relation is a function.

I give them the definition of a function (writing it on the white board and then holding it up so that the students wishing to write it down can do so). I give them an example and a counter example. I introduce them to the three methods of telling if something is a function: inspection, mapping, and the vertical line test. I give quick, off-the-top-of-my-head examples for each. And that's it. We're talking JUST the bare bones here.

But here's where the magic happens (and this is not planned magic - these are things that just kind of happened). In these smaller, informal groups, with general student noise in the background, students are suddenly not afraid to ask questions. I can poll the group: "Is this a function?" and wait for the students to chime in, counting the yays and the nays out loud with them before revealing the answer. The students help explain things to each other, since they're not "interrupting" me at the front of the room. And I can get them to provide me with the examples or the counter examples.

A quick check in with other students in the class, and then I ask if anyone would like the mini-lecture on the next learning goal. Another handful of students cluster at another large table, and away we go again. The next day I might do the same mini-lectures for different groups of students depending where they are in the unit.

The students get so much more out of these little lectures - including the confidence to then try practice questions on their own or with their classmates - all with less prep work on my part. This is revolutionary for me, and would not be possible if it wasn't for the other 2/3 of the class taking the learning into their own hands working through either the textbook or the BYOD resources. Posts on some of these other resources to come.

Friday, September 13, 2013

This is How We Learn Best

Earlier this week, I gave my students a survey to find out how they feel they learn best. I did this in an effort to provide them with resources that they would find useful while learning independently - there's no use in giving them lots of video links if no one likes learning from videos.

I gave the students a number of resource types, and asked them to rank the types from 1 ("I would never use this to learn") to 5 ("I would always use this to learn").

Here is how the students ranked the resource types, in order of average answer across all the surveys.

1. Teacher lecture (to a small group of students): 4.5

2. Group activities: 4.2
3. One-to-one help from a teacher or tutor: 4.1
4. Teacher lecture (to the whole class): 3.8
5. Worksheet, with explanations on the sheet: 3.8
6. Textbook (examples and questions): 3.6
7. Video: 3.5
8. Peer-to-peer: 3.3
9. Real life applications (rich learning tasks): 3.2
10. Pre-made lessons (ie. e-learning): 2.9
11. Online research (find-your-own answers): 2.8
12. Online tutorial (ie. live chat): 2.7

I found it interesting to note that three of the top four options rely heavily on the teacher. Not terribly surprising, since this is what most of their previous experience in education would have entailed.

It was also interesting to note that three of the bottom four options, while mostly very different from what the students would have experienced previously in school, are pretty much how all real-life learning is done. When there is no expert in the room, how comfortable will my students be in trying to figure things out themselves?

So herein lies the newest pedagogical issue for me: how can I give my students resources that they are comfortable with (and enjoy using - I don't want to turn them off learning!), but at the same time, push them to use resources they don't necessarily like, but will NEED as they move through life?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Building Momentum. Sorta.

Today was the third day of my students "controlling their destinies." While class time still feels as chaotic as it did on the first day of the unit - when everyone was figuring out just how to proceed - there are definitely some rhythms emerging that I hope to capitalize on as the unit progresses.

As could have been predicted for almost any class, there is a group of students who has taken the bull by the horns and has jumped right in. At the end of the third day, they have informally demonstrated a solid understanding of the first three learning goals (there are ten goals in the unit). Tonight they are preparing for their quiz, as well as starting an investigation as part of the fourth learning goal. [You can see our "master list" of learning goals and learning/practicing/knowing resources here]

I know I shouldn't compare the progress of the class to "where I'd be if I was teaching 'traditionally,'" but I can't help myself. These students would be right up to date with that timeline.

There are also a good many students who struggled a bit with the second learning goal (mostly involving set-builder notation for domain and range - something they have never seen before), but they have been putting in the time and effort, and are making good progress. They help each other, ask questions when the answers in the book/worksheet don't make sense, and take advantage of using a graphing calculator app to verify their answers. They still need a lot of guidance, and default to seeking help from me before trying other avenues, but they are holding their own.

These students would be a little behind my traditional timeline, but they're good workers, and I'm not worried.

But there is also a group of students who, just now on the third day of the unit, has decided to start putting serious pencil to paper. After three days, they have just mastered the first learning goal. I'm not sure what encouraged them to finally get going - was it seeing the rest of the class progress? Was it my reminder of the 14 (now 12) days to get through the unit? Were they getting bored with not progressing up until now? Or was it my persistent nagging?? - but I'm glad they're taking initiative and starting to get things done.

I can't help but see these students as way behind in my traditional timeline. While I will redouble my efforts to sit down with them tomorrow to check in and see how I can help get them caught up, I find I also want to step back a bit and let them learn how to manage their time to get back on track. What a fine line between letting them struggle, but providing just enough support so that they still right themselves on their own terms!

Technology-wise, a new SSID switch has been installed in our classroom, and connectivity issues seem to have fallen to the wayside. This has yet to be tested with everyone online at once (hmmm... time for another Socrative quiz, methinks), but I'm optimistic. We continue to have trouble accessing Khan Academy videos due to youtube being blocked, but there are a couple of solutions I'm working toward.

I've been lucky to have a very supportive administration behind me on this project, and their assistance and encouragement in helping me figure out solutions to all things technological and pedagogical have been invaluable.

The mini-lectures on each learning goal are proving to be a popular option, and I will blog about those tomorrow. I foresee a further blog post about just getting/remaining organized throughout all this - keeping track of who's-on-what-learning-goal (I foresee a new Abbott & Costello skit in this!) during the chaos of class has been interesting to say the least. I'm feeling optimistic though. That learning curve is flattening out!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Shell Shocked

Yesterday, we had our last day of "let's play with technology" before diving in to the actual curriculum of the course. With a new hub in the classroom, the students made more headway in their online activities: completing a Learning Style assessment, learning about their primary learning styles, and learning how to use Google Docs. They also completed a survey on the types of activities from which they learn best, to help me put together my list of resources for them.

Today's class found me both nervous and extremely excited - this is what I had been planning for all summer: weighing the pros and cons, and trying to figure out the best way to approach BYOD and how to implement self-directed learning. I can't remember being this excited to try something new in the classroom in a very long time.

I presented them with the learning goals for the unit (ten of them). This included:

  • having students rate themselves Red, Yellow or Green for each goal, depending on what they felt they knew of the material before we start the unit (they will repeat this again at the end);
  • presenting the students with a tracking sheet and calendar, to keep track of where they are in the grand scheme of the unit;
  • providing the students, through the course webpage, with the link to the Google Doc that I'm keeping to provide them with the resources to learn the material;
  • giving them a deadline for the unit: they have until Sept. 27 to master all the goals (there will be a unit test on that date).

The "master list" (found here), gives the students ways to learn the material for each goal, practice the material, and then show that they know the material. [The document is a work in progress, as I work through the logistics of this for the first time. Comments and suggestions are welcome!!] If the exit slip demonstrates they have mastered the learning goal, they are permitted to move on to the next one. If not, we sit down, review, and practice some more until we're ready to try again. Everything within the unit is flexible, with the exception of Sept. 27.

This is so new to so many of the students, that many of them didn't know where to begin. Do we have to hand in everything on that list? Are our marks based only on tests? We don't have to do homework? Can I see the exit slip before I do any of the work? Can't you just teach us?

It was a frantic class of troubleshooting technology, trying to encourage those who were reluctant (I received several firm comments of "I don't learn on my own" and "I can't do math"), keeping the volume reasonable, and checking in with as many students as possible to see if they found the document, knew were they were going, etc. 

Several of them gathered around for a mini-lecture, while a couple of others worked through some of the online resources (we had trouble loading the videos - another thing to add to the troubleshooting list), and one or two grabbed a textbook. But the majority of them did... very little. Three students were ready to take the first exit slip at the end of class... two will be allowed to move forward. I felt shell shocked. With all these resources at our disposal, how were we not able to get more done?

I'm hoping tomorrow will be better, more organized, more productive. We'll go over again how to use the master list, how to access the various resources for help, how to take advantage of their personal learning style, and I'll remind them that they can do it. I'm hoping this gets easier (for them and for me) as we fall into routine and as they experience success.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

First Three Days

We were lucky to start the school year off with a three-day week this past week... a nice way to ease back into routine.

In implementing BYOD for the first time, too, the short week allowed me to plan for just a short period of time without the stress of worrying if I was planning too much or too little for the time period. When it comes to using technology, I find I have no idea how long it will take the students to accomplish certain tasks. So much of it depends on their familiarity with the device, accessibility to the network, how well they can remain focused on the task at hand (without being distracted by said device), and of course their previously-learned work ethic. There's a lot I'm still figuring out.

Though we haven't attacked any of the actual curriculum yet, I think we've accomplished a lot. Here's a quick review of what we've done so far.


  • Redesigning the classroom: Tables have been grouped together into four "pods" of 6 and two pods of 3. There is also a new space at the back of the classroom where students can work individually (on their device or on the classroom computer) in a slightly quieter setting if they choose to.

  • Learning to focus on while using their device: The students came up with a list of Look-Fors that I, as a teacher, can use to make sure they are focused on their work, and not distracted by their device. The list is permanently posted in the classroom. They were also directed to the course website to review a file on steps they can take to reduce e-distractions.
  • Creating an Acceptable User Policy (AUP): While our Board has an AUP in place, there is not one specific to BYOD. In groups, the students examined the BYOD AUPs of other schools and boards. They discussed each point, crossed out parts of the AUPs they disagreed with and highlighted parts they very much agreed with. I took this feedback and drafted one for our school. The next day, I gave it back to them for approval. A few more edits (mostly clarification of language) later, and I have now submitted it to our administration for their approval. Later this week, the students will sign off on the "contract" they created.
  • Introduction to new modes of communication: Students completed quizzes from their devices using Socrative, and contributed to a class Padlet wall. They also created a profile for a fellow classmate using their choice of Padlet, Aurasma or Fakebook (from 
  • Finding apps, reviewing apps, and using new apps: Students were asked to locate any three graphing calculator apps for their device (or websites if they were using a laptop), review them (using a handout provided in class that looked at key features, number of downloads, user rating and cost), and then choose one to use as they completed a worksheet. The worksheet was generic enough to allow them the opportunity to learn how to use their new app, as well as review some of the basics of quadratic functions.


  • Connectivity: We have been made painfully aware that our wireless network accessibility is not capable of supporting a large (>20) number of devices all working simultaneously. I have been working with the administration (and through them, with our Board) to try and come up with solutions, including a dedicated part of the network being made available to our classroom. This is definitely work in progress...
  • Are we falling behind?: As I mentioned above, we haven't really touched any of the course curriculum yet. It is a perennial problem that teachers never have enough time to cover all the curriculum in a given course, so the traditional teacher in me feels like we are already a week behind. My hope is that once we become comfortable using our devices in class, the actual learning will progress faster than what I am used to.
  • Not every student has a device: We are lucky to have a class set of 11 tablets that students can use if they don't have their own device. This works well in class, but if there is an assignment to be finished at home on their own time, they will have to find a new way to finish it. This hasn't been a big problem yet, but something to keep in mind for larger assignments.

Onward and upward to week two!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


Though I created this blog a few days into the new school year, I wanted to backdate a few entries to highlight my first few days of teaching in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment, as well as why I wanted to move in this direction as a teacher.

I am currently in my 13th year of teaching, having just finished my 7th year at my current school. While I'm not ignoring the fact that it might just have been a "7th year itch," in the last few months of the past school year, teaching the way I had always taught suddenly felt extremely inadequate. I wasn't convinced that I was reaching the students as well as I wanted to. I was teaching in the same system, with the same techniques, as not only I had been teaching for the past dozen years (and had been taught myself), but also in the way generations of school teachers had taught before me.

But things have changed. Students have changed. Access to information has changed. The same teaching methods weren't working any more, and I started to realize that I, also, had to change. Being part of a pilot project involving bringing tablets into the math classroom opened my eyes up to what might be possible in a "21st Century" classroom, where students guide their own learning, and choose how they learn... which very well might not be me yapping away at the front of the room.

So I spent the summer reading, tweeting, researching, reading some more, jotting down new and different ideas for my courses, and collaborating with colleagues. Did I mention reading? I did a LOT of reading.

My conclusion was to try harnessing the power of the BYOD (or BYOT for Technology) movement in a senior, mid-level math class. My vision is to focus on independent learning - students working their preferred way, at their own pace and using the resources of their choosing, through curriculum-based learning goals. While I have done a lot of differentiated instruction in the past (choice of assignments, addressing different learning styles, accommodations, etc.), turning the pace of the course over to the students scares me. This is completely unlike anything I've done before.

I'll be focussing on BYOD in just one of my classes this semester, but welcoming spillover into some of my other courses. My goals for the course are to have:
  • an improved student success rate
  • a more enjoyable learning environment (the classroom itself, and student-teacher interactions)
  • students who enjoy the learning process (or at least don't seem to mind it!)
Here goes nothing... anyone up for an adventure? :)