In the effort to put students at the center of their experience and empower them to take more control of their own learning, RBC invites them to participate in the school’s Bring Your Own Device Program where they use personal technology devices during the school day. This technology provides students the ability to access online tools, textbooks, information and resources, to collaborate, take class notes and more.
According to Mr. Len Russo, RBC Director of Integrated Technology Services, student participation in the program has increased nearly 600% since it launched in 2013. He adds that “allowing students to use their ‘tool of choice’ is the most effective way to prepare them for college” where they will make their own decision about what type of device they will use. Whether it be a Macbook, a Windows computer, a Chromebook or tablet, students decide which device they are most comfortable using, and that freedom of choice will enhance their ability to succeed.
RBC faculty members agree. Students in Mr. Bowen's Criminology and Sociology classes bring in their laptops, tablets and iPads for daily class. They use the devices to research, collect data, collaborate in real-time, and create technology-based projects in criminal statistics and social movements. Mr. Bowen adds, “students can stay much better organized keeping all of their assignments and projects on the device.”
Religion teacher Mrs. Gerry Green shares her personal observation that “when students can access information pertaining to a discussion and/ or debate, and a question arises, they can find the answer quickly and share it. This moves the conversation forward with facts as opposed to opinions. I find it very advantageous in that regard.”
The ability to access information in real-time enhances the learning experience across the curriculum, including physical education where students are monitoring their “monthly mile” times and setting personal goals. PE teacher Mr. John Mautner has found that “offering the students options for monitoring and setting goals empowers them to complete the monthly mile in a way that fits their needs.”
English teacher Mrs. Adrienne Genthe teaches a freshman student who “uses her laptop constantly in class. During discussions she will often look up additional information to contribute or to help me double check a fact. She's quick too! Before I know it she has looked something up and we are talking about it.”
Watch the video below to see the students talk about how they use the Bring Your Own Device program to enhance their learning experience and how it helps them succeed: