#iBYOT: One Creation Platform for #BYOT Classrooms – #iPad #byotchat (updated)

Three days ago, the mounting frustration finally escaped in the form of a proposal. As a veteran podcaster–and reluctant vidcaster–I found myself despairing at the thought of asking tech-newbie teachers in Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) situations to create flipped classroom content using a wide variety of classroom technology available in their classrooms.

What if, I wondered, we could provide teachers with an easy to use creation tool that integrates perfectly with existing district programs? In my mind, I pictured a jumble of technologies that would be replaced by the iPad as a creation tool for generating BYOT/blended learning content…it’s on the fact that there are so many disparate tools to combine to get the desired result.

To give you an idea of the varied technology needed to create with, let’s itemize the hardware and software list:

  • Hardware:
  • Desktop or laptop computer, Windows or Macintosh. 
  • Microphone, USB Logitech if you’re lucky or serial mic that may or may not work
  • Digital Camera with SD Card
  • Digital video camera
  • Software Possibilities: Again, remember having to learn how to use each of these separate tools to create one product.
    • Computer operating systems range from WinXP to Windows 7, Mac OS X.4 to X.8.
    • Audacity, if people know how to use it. (Free)
    • Moviemaker, various versions
    • PhotoStory, but no one is sure it’s installed
    • Screencast-o-Matic (free), SnagIt ($20), or Camtasia Studio ($179)
    • Audio/Video drivers may or may not be current

    This is pretty startling. While this was cutting edge 10 years ago, with better alternatives available, it is safe to characterize it as a confusing mess of aging technology and software. Learning to use the individual tools–hardware, then software–is daunting for most teachers. What to do?

    So, what’s the alternative? Throw all that stuff away and use an iPad. Really, why bother with all that?

    One of the most valuable tools afforded by iPads is the ability to screencast — to combine audio, images, drawing and text on a whiteboard to create a video. Given the multitude of outputs afforded by this one type of app, what if we focused on accelerating learning through a single tool? Source: Redefining Learning through Screencasting

    If I want to create a video for blended learning (e.g. Flipped Classroom) that can be easily embedded on the web, then consider the workflow that works in my district:

    1. Make a slideshow in Explain Everything ($1.50) or Educreations (free)
    2. Publish that narrated slideshow–which can have embedded web pages, images, slides from PPT, etc.–to your iPad’s Camera Roll.
    3. Publish from iPad Camera Roll to District PHP Motion solution.

    Other districts that are allowing YouTube access for students (mine does not), can simply take advantage of a 2 step approach:

    1. Make a slideshow in Explain Everything ($1.50) or Educreations
    2. Publish that narrated slideshow–which can have embedded web pages, images, slides from PPT, etc.–to YouTube, or cloud storage solution (e.g. Dropbox, Drive, Box.net).
    And, teachers aren’t the only ones who can take advantage of this. What if students used their iPads for this?

    The redefinition (what I consider the magic!) leveraged by student screencasting comes from unintended and unprompted activities, conversations, and artifacts of learning. For example, in the classrooms where I have been conducting research on student screencasting, one of the most remarkable and consistent unintended outcomes was that students, no matter how young or old, and no matter what discipline, intrinsically reflected, self-­assessed, and adjusted their articulation of understanding. Even when the screencasts were being made for an audience of zero, this phenomenon occurred. None of the teachers involved in the study ever instructed students to play back their screencasts or make revisions. The students just did it.
    Source: Reshan Richards,
    Source: Reshan Richards, Explain Everything creator as quoted in Redefining Learning through Screencasting

    Here’s one possible proposal…would YOU approve this proposal? What are the flaws with my thinking in this blog post?

    Proposal for iBYOT:

    Need: Classroom teachers at BYOT campuses-approximately 190 at 3 campuses–due to range of equipment available to them have a wide variety of professional learning needs. In addition to BYOT, they have to prepare their lessons on a wide range of non-standard equipment (e.g. obsolete laptops, desktops, iPads) that do not ensure uniformity of quality access. 

    Teachers at BYOT campuses need a standard platform for content development that can match the devices students are bringing into their classrooms.

    Proposal to Create the iBYOT Program
    To standardize training and ensure high quality lesson development (e.g. device neutral apps, Edmodo+GoogleApps, flipped classroom learning), provide a BYOT iPad Package to each teacher when they commit to completing 5 face to face, 2 hour session (10 hours total). 

    The iBYOT offer would be open to campus teachers who are involved in Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT). iBYOT Cohorts would be formed based on applicants from iBYOT campuses and in-depth support would be provided face to face.  BYOT Cohort would also enjoy online support and training, as well as collect iBYOT lessons in the in-house District video sharing site hosted by the Technology Department. 

    Professional Learning would focus around these topics at first:
    1. Intro to BYOT
    2. Crafting Professional Learning Networks
    3. Device Neutral Apps
    4. Virtual Classrooms with Edmodo
    5. Flipped Classroom Learning
    And, it would model the use of technologies to enhance teaching and learning.
    Budget for iBYOT
    • Allocate $80K for BYOT Teacher Initiative.
    • BYOT iPad Package Cost: $670 = ($575 for 32gig iPad+$45 case+$45 per display adapter+ $1.50 for Explain Everything app).
    At a cost of approximately $670 per Pad with peripherals/apps, the District would be able to purchase 119 iPads for deployment to support the iBYOT Teacher Program

    Simply, if you are a BYOT Teacher, you have the opportunity to participate in iBYOT Professional Learning and receive the BYOT iPad Package outlined above.

    Check out Miguel’s Workshop Materials online at http://mglearns.wikispaces.com

    Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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    6 thoughts on “#iBYOT: One Creation Platform for #BYOT Classrooms – #iPad #byotchat (updated)

    1. Kid Electric September 7, 2013 at 11:17 pm Reply

      Completely invalid argument.

      1) The average desktop computer is CHEAPER than an iPad. What are you using as the basis for an $800 machine… other overpriced Apple products? We have an entire lab of Lenovo ThinkCentre PCs (also what our teachers have as workstations) that are perfectly capable of screencasting (much more capable than an iPad) and were $500 each

      Even if using a Mac… the Mac Mini is $550

      2) You don't have to get Camtasia Studio to create screencasts. If using a Mac, you can use QuickTime (free screen recording) and iMovie (free editing); if using PC, you can just Jing (free to record up to 5 minutes), Cam Studio, or BB FlashBack Express (my personal favorite free platform)

      You want to know just how low the price of THIS setup can be? How about this:

      I made screencast videos using BB FlashBack Express (free software) on a $250 Acer Aspire One netbook.

      Yes, this means you can flip the classroom for $250, or less than HALF the cost of the solution you propose above.

    2. Miguel Guhlin September 8, 2013 at 2:06 am Reply

      Thanks for the feedback, @Kid Electric! An $800 machine is what school districts purchase, not individuals. I'm familiar with free screencasting tools on computer. It's not cost that's the issue but having to blend a variety of tools–hardware/software–to get the desired result. I've done this, I've shown others how, and it only sticks for a small percentage of people. How do we get to mass adoption?

      With an iPad, you can skip the hardware/software tool shuffle…you get to work, and you're producing quick!

      Thanks for the opportunity to clarify the points in the blog entry.

      With appreciation,

    3. Miguel Guhlin September 8, 2013 at 3:13 am Reply

      Comment via email:
      O.K. First of all, we can do the desktop computer cheaper than 800.00 and a laptop much cheaper. My Logitech microphones cost about $12.00. Almost every student has a phone with a camera, so we don't need that. For most projects, Movie Maker is adequate, so we don't need need Camtasia Studio. And we can draft research papers, create a yearbook, and do all kinds of other real work projects on our computers. Seems to me that the cost is about even for the computer or the laptop.

    4. Molly Valdez September 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm Reply


      So where in your budget are the allocations for your teacher training and/or (really low) stipends for teachers to invest time and energy into flipping their content to a digital format? Please don't forget the people factor. So much of what we want to happen in the classroom glosses over the most important part-teacher buy-in, support, and the interpersonal factor.

    5. Molly Valdez September 9, 2013 at 1:49 pm Reply

      My spirits are spiraling downward as I read further into this post, seeing the concentration is firmly on the tools and not the teachers. Where are your teacher considerations? Your argument is that students have their own tech (and are therefore comfortable with it), so you'd like to bring in the (iPads/insert portal device here) to tech up the teachers/classrooms? Without serious teacher buy-in, you're investing in paperweights. Perhaps your teacher population is different from mine, but if you don't start with buoying up their confidence and involvement in the project, with time, attention, and coutesy stipends, then a tech-first project will fail instructionally while vastly entertaining the students. It's not that teachers can't or won't, they simply aren't invested, granted the professional time or courtesies, and/or feel behind the students in this arena. So here is my rallying comment for a line item in your proposal for the affective domain.

    6. Miguel Guhlin September 10, 2013 at 2:35 am Reply

      Molly, thanks so much for your comments.

      You are right, more time needs to be spent making teachers thirsty to teach in ways that transform learning opportunities for students.

      In fact, professional learning for teachers–the sit-n-get variety–needs to be scrapped, and efforts to help teacher build their own Professional Learning Networks (PLN) is key. After all, if YOU want to learn something, that's 3/4ths of the way to one's objective.

      Establishing a shared base of understanding–about pedagogy, teaching and learning practices–is critical. And yet, without the “tools,” we might as well be back in the 18th century. We might have radical concepts, but we need not pretend that pencil and papyrus is all we have available.

      Tools transform how we teach and learn. There's a dynamic relationship, a change conversation that happens. Without the right tools, the conversation isn't as interesting or relevant to a world that's moved on.

      So, you're right, teachers have to both be invited and ignite themselves, 2) While it can't be solely about the gadgets, because we are tool-makers and tool-users, learning happens when we swap out the technology; and 3) Pedagogy and technology must work together, not be in silos, apart from each other.

      With appreciation,

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