Classroom Management for BYOD – My Top Tips

Thanks to @catwooller for this great post, will be using ideas from it this year with my Year 9’s

Mrs Wooller's Blog

I would like to start this post by saying that I am in no way an expert in this topic, and in actual fact I have only been teaching my two year nine BYOD classes for two terms so far this year. So I am purely going to share what classroom management strategies I have put in place to help my classes get and stay on task.

  • The 5 minute Rule
    Initially when I arrived in term two, I am sad to say that I got played!! The “I can’t get connected”, and “the wifi isn’t working”, enabled my students to get away with doing very little work. So I came up with the 5min rule. Basically, if students can’t connect within the first 5minutes of the lesson, they are to put their device away in their bags and get paper out to work on or use an offline method…

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Blogging Meme

This is my blogging meme, thanks to Marnel, @1MvdS, who tagged me for this meme.

The blogging task includes:

  • Acknowledge the nominating blogger.
  • Share 11 random facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions the nominating blogger has created for you.
  • List 11 bloggers.
  • Post 11 questions for the bloggers you nominate to answer, and let all the bloggers know they have been nominated.  Don’t nominate a blogger who has nominated you.
11 random facts about me:
  1. I am a black belt in Tae Kwon Do.
  2. I love to surf!
  3. I taught my niece last year – Y10 PE & Health!
  4. I have a cool scar on my leg from surfing.
  5. I am not a big fan of rugby or netball or cricket (although I played cricket for years when I was younger).
  6. I have a degree in Commerce as well as PE.
  7. I will be doing a crash course in Python this year, as I have to teach it!
  8. I am really keen to learn a lot more computer science.
  9. I am a third kyu in Seido Karate.
  10. I think I have a Raspberry Pi waiting for me at school (fingers crossed!).
  11. I love being in shorts and sandals!
My answers to Marnel’s questions:
  1. What Inspires you?
    Colleagues and the kindness / generosity of others. Colleagues from near and far.
  2. What are you reading now?
    The Luminaries
  3. If you weren’t a teacher, what would you do?
    At this moment in time I think I would like to be working as a developer in a local company (dreams are free!)
     Others times – photographer, surfer.
  4. If you could change something about the education system, what would it be?
    I would like to change the assessment structure in secondary schools.
  5. When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
    I can’t remember, so ages ago – although because of the nagging of my wife I send birthday cards.
  6. Android or iPad tablets? Why?
    Have always been a Mac person. Love how they look and work. Saying that though, have not used an Andriod tablet.
  7. What do you find hardest to teach your students? 
    To see things from different perspectives.
  8. What will you be doing differently this year? 
    I am aiming to not use a paper workbook in junior health. I want to have all content up online.
  9. If you could be fluent in any other language, what would it be and why did you choose this language?
    Spanish – want to go back to Spain and be able to communicate. Also my sister-in-law is Cuban, not the same but similar.
  10. What is your favourite way to waste time?
    Watching crap TV!
  11. What is your life motto?
    Not to worry about what other people think of you, be who you are and be strong with who you are.
Phew! Third time sitting down writing this post! Thanks Marnel for tagging, it is been intriguing writhing this post.
I would like to tag … 

Here are your 11 questions:

  1. What was the best thing about 2013?
  2. What is your favourite sport or physical pastime?
  3. Who do you look up to within education?
  4. What is the best moment you have had as an educator?
  5. WordPress or Blogger? Or something else?
  6. How much time do you think you are ‘connected’ every week?
  7. How do you spend your lunchtimes during term time?
  8. How do you ‘chill out’?
  9. What would be your most favourite holiday?
  10. What would you be doing if not teaching?
  11. Would you rather be hot or cold?

Brief Reflection on PBL unit – What matters most…

Have students look at Creative commons – students used lots of images, and some music and videos – need to make sure they are aware of copyright. this should be something that our schools DC should cover in the future, so they should have some knowledge of it beforehand.

Some structure would be good for some students. More time, start in term 3.

ACTION!! have the project so the students are making an action or encouraging an action.
Actually have a fix? Or encourage people to do something to fix the issue.

Students that want to make videos either say they have to have the software on their computers or find a good alternative or say they can’t, have to chose something else.

2013 Reflections

A bit of a reflection on what I got up to in 2013.

Professional goals –

Goal 1: to continue to develop my own learning of how to use Moodle so that I can support teachers in creating asynchronous learning opportunities.

Definitely did this well in 2013. I attended the NZ Moodlemoot in Hamilton in the April holidays. I took the Moodlebites for Course Designers 8 week online course. Attended the online iMoot conference – looking forward to the next one of these, great learning from all over the world. And I also was a participant in the Learn Moodle MOOC.

I have worked with a lot of staff over the year to help them implement their teaching and learning ideas using Moodle.

In 2014 I am looking forward to working with Moodle 2.6 (as we upgraded at the end of 2013) and using badges! However, I know that I need to work on looking at the effective pedagogy and not just getting focused on giving out badges just for the sake of it. I am planning on trying to have our Year 9 Health content all online and not using a paper workbook. I have been collecting information about learning and instructional design plus gamification to help me with this, as I also want to make the Health content more engaging.

Goal 2: develop and implement a Project Based Learning unit for Year 10 Shaping Up (Inner Beauty? Lets get real!) that helps develop critical thinking.

The unit ended up being called ‘What Matters Most…is what you think of yourself’ – shortened to What Matters Most (see previous posts) It was a huge step out of my comfort zone with my teaching and took a lot of time to set up but so worth the effort!! I am planning on using it again this year with some changes to it following great feedback my students and I received. I will think about how I might be able to do something similar with other units in our junior health courses this year.

Goal 3: learn and use iPad as a effective teaching and learning tool in Physical Education.

This didn’t really happen last year. This maybe due to not having enough iPads or not putting the time aside to think about how to use them effectively in class. What I did get happening in my Year 9 class was students using their own devices more for the creation of content. I would like to build on this in 2014.

What I have done in 2013 is used the iPad for my own uses very effectively. I find some of the apps on it great for planning and I have reduced down the amount of paper I use.

Ideas for 2014

With my senior Year 12 Sports Studies class I would really like to utilise Google Apps a lot more, particularly to make it easier for them to record information. For Social Responsibility, I would like to set up a form for them to enter in their reflections and have something like a rating system, so it is really easy for them to do, so they can do it on their phone for example and it collates it all.

I would also like to use Google Apps for all of the written assessments as I think this made a difference to my ability to give constructive and timely feedback. I don’t think all the students particularly like it but I think overall it was more effective then a written report on paper.

For Digital Technology, I am planning on using Scratch in 9DT. I would like to have two topics, one on computer science – ie Scratch, and the other on digital media – which I think I will stick with Photoshop and Pixlr and have the students creating a digital poster. What I need to work on is creating units where the students have stakeholders outside of the classroom.

Then there is Year 12 Digital Technology! There will be lots of learning going on with this, php, MySQL, programming, Python!!

So, roll on 2014 and the joys that it is going to provide!

Having an empty inbox!

Saw a great post by Tim Gander on “Master productivity with ‘things’ and zero inbox”.

I started doing what he suggested, particularly the Quick Tips at the bottom. Then I started searching for a to do list tool that would work for me. I wanted something that would sync across all my devices including Mac and PC. I find Todoist.


I think I found it by looking through the to do list apps and extensions in Google Chrome. I am loving it! I can create projects, tasks, set priorities, due dates, have sub tasks, tick when completed. You can add an extension in Chrome to add an email as a task – and it will link back to that email. You can add another extension that does the same for a website.

You can sync it across everything (or at least heaps)

todoist sync

Can’t say I always have an empty inbox but definitely have less in there. I have had an empty inbox regularly since changing how I have been managing my emails, which is an achievement for me!

Oh and I am only using the free version, which at the moment seems to do everything I want. Yay! With upgrading you get a lot more features.