Device Neutral Assignments


Why DNA?

There will be many different devices in your classroom with BYOD such as tablets, smartphones, laptops and netbooks along with the school's desktop computers. The operating systems will vary with Windows, Apple, Blackberry and Android devices. Device Neutral Assignments and Activities or "DNA" will work best for all students and allow them to use their device of choice. They will be the most familiar with their own device's capabilitites.

Some ideas for creating DNA

  • Allow choice of product. Can students show their learning through a video, website, screencast, essay or presentation?
  • Co-construct success criteria. If products will be different, what makes a successful product? How will it meet the curriculum expectations?
  • Use generic descriptions. Instead of requiring "PowerPoint", use "presentation". Instead of requiring "Word", use "text-based" or "word-processing".
  • Suggest cross-platform services. Many apps and services can be used on all devices. See below for suggestions.
  • Group students purposely. An activity may require a camera and a computer/laptop--pair a student with a smartphone with another who has a laptop. Conversely, group students with similar devices.
  • Use the classroom technology. Your document camera can be used to create images, video, etc. During group work, one group can use the class desktop computer.

Excellent cross-platform services


Create and sync notes, images and more across all platforms and devices.


Engage the class in quizzes, games and exit surveys on any device--with or without an app.


Interactive discussion and lessons, quizzes, drop boxes and more. Access from any browser. Read more here.

Ask THREE before me!

Teachers can't be expected to know how to operate all devices. Having a classroom rule that students must ask three people (in class or online) before approaching the teacher for help promotes independent learning, self-advocasy and collaboration. If you can't answer a student's question, there is probably a forum or Youtube video on the topic, or you can challenge the class to come up with a solution.

Youtube video editing

How to use Youtube Video Editor Tutorial - Edit Youtube Videos Online 2013


What is a VoiceThread
Office365 Peel Scribe

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