Device Neutral Assignment

 

Click here for a table showing learning activities matched to apps/online tools/software for different devices/platforms.

Click here to suggest a tool to be added to the list.

Device Neutral Classroom

A device neutral classroom is one where the learning activity does not presume that a specific tool will be used to undertake the activity – instead, in order to demonstrate learning, the pupil can choose whichever tool they have available which meets the requirements. Rather than seeing the tool as the focus for the learning, instead in a device-neutral classroom the tool should be chosen to suit the intended learning – and that the tool may be chosen by the teacher or the pupil to best suit the task to support the learning or demonstrate understanding of the learning. So for a task which involves presenting information in a written form it does not matter whether all pupils have the same word-processing package – such as Microsoft Word on a PC or a text app specific to a mobile device – the important point is that the pupil knows how to use it and that they can share the end result with others.

When assigning tasks, differentiation for pupils can include the option for pupils who bring their own device the flexibility to use the tools available to them. For example, if a presentation is required, then the task should not require that Microsoft Powerpoint has to be used (though if that’s the tool the pupil has available and suits the task for them then there is nothing wrong with that) – it could be the pupil prefers to use another presentation tool, whether an app specific to their device, software on a PC or an online tool. So the focus can be on the content, not the tool. And so long as the work can be shared with others including the teacher in a format they can all access then this should pose no barrier to pupils choosing their preferred tool – indeed the familiarity of the pupil with their chosen tool means they can focus on the content rather than the functionality of a tool with which they may be less familiar. A chart showing ideas for a variety of tools for specific tasks can be seen here:

https://sites.google.com/a/apps.edina.k12.mn.us/teaching-with-laptop-carts/home/curriculum-ideas

Device-neutral learning activities

A fuller description of device-neutral learning activities in a device-agnostic classroom can be seen here:

http://makelearn.org/2013/06/07/app-suggestions-for-learning-activities-in-byod-classrooms/ – this provides a table with typical learning activities in a classroom, with suggested computer software, mobile device apps for different makes of device, and online tools which may work across all platforms.

In a similar way the links below provides suggested tools available which work across all platforms:

http://insidetheclassroomoutsidethebox.wordpress.com/2013/06/16/apps-and-sites-that-work-on-all-devices-for-byot/

Joe Dale (@joedale) has provided a Google Documents spreadsheet with a list of activities matched to iPhone, Android, Windows and web tools to support each activity:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/tV7Wh1gj69aQwcna0vKjNSA/htmlview

Tools matched to tasks or skills

The link below provides a host of tools in categories of tasks/skills such as note-taking, research, presentation, collaboration, writing, study, multimedia and organisation.

http://www.elearningyellowpages.com/blog/2008/10/ditch-the-backpack-100-essential-web-tools-for-virtual-students

The JISC Mobile Learning InfoKit is an online guide to the issues surrounding a move to using mobile devices and collated responses and advice from those establishments which have made the change. While written with tertiary education in mind the InfoKit equally applies in most areas to schools.

http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/mobile-learning/

Falkirk Council Education Services Device Neutral Applications list

Click here for a table showing learning activities matched to apps/online tools/software for different devices/platforms: Device Neutral Assignment

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