1. What devices do you have at home?
Some parents ignore emails because they want to (we love those) and some parents ignore emails because they might not have the means to check them. Also, how can a student make a powerpoint presentation at home for that cool project you assigned if they don't have a computer?
There are apps (like the cool Virtual Cell app) that are only available for Apple devices, so it will benefit you to know which devices they have as well.
2. What devices are brought to school?
The foundation of a BYOD classroom is that students actually bring their devices to school.
This may not be a concern for high school teachers (and in the future it might not be a concern for anyone), but elementary and middle school teachers will have students that have phones or tablets at home, but their parents do not allow them to bring them to school (could be liability, or maybe they're scared their child will lose it).
3. Is there internet access at home?
The answer to this question might not be as straightforward as you think. I add a "sometimes" option because growing up I did not have internet access at my house, but every Tuesday and Thursday I went to my cousin's house and I could access the internet there.
There are students that have access to a nearby library too but it may be something you can clarify with a student and/or parent.
4. Is there internet access at school?
Your school might provide internet access but at my school, it SUCKS. So what would end up happening is the kids would use their data plans.
It is important to ask parents if their students have internet access through their devices because you don't want a parent calling in and saying, "it's your fault I got an overage charge on my phone bill!" simply because you did not ask about it and send a warning.
5. Do you have an email address?
I think I can assume MOST parents have an email address this day in age. But, I cannot say the same for elementary school children or even middle schoolers.
6. What are you allowed, or more importantly, what are you NOT allowed to do?
THIS IS BIG. There needs to be communication between parent, teacher and student that is very clear about permissions. I typically ask if they have permission to do things like create accounts, send emails and download apps, since those are things parent could have a problem with for privacy concerns.
7. Is there anything else I need to know?
This open-ended question allows you to get any information that you might've missed. I had a student with a learning disability that requested paper and pencil for anything that had to do with numbers. So I made sure to accommodate to her needs.
I also had a parent share that when her child is punished, she takes their technology privileges away at home, so we agreed on maintaining open communication so that I could provide alternative assignments that did not require technology.
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