BYOD in Schools

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Technology in learning is something teachers are trying to embrace and integrate into classrooms today. It is thus becoming important to consider how and when we bring in new technology. With schools having tight funding and quickly changing technology, it may be time to start seriously considering the concept of BYOD or bring your own device. Initially this was propagated in corporate work environments, but today BYOD is becoming relevant and may be the solution to the huge gap between need and access.

BYOD basically suggests that we welcome students to bring their own tech devices like laptops, iPads or smartphones to the classroom. Then we help students share these or work on them, as needed, for classroom projects and activities. The advantages of BYOD are that we get to use the latest technology in learning and help students learn to use their devices for educational purposes. A further advantage is that we’re employing practices that occur successfully outside of a K-12 classroom environment and school.

This said, there are aspects of BYOD that educators need to consider. Schools will need to develop and implement usage policies or rules that regulate what students use their devices for, both at school and within the classroom. There will need to be systems to ensure that students don’t access inappropriate content at school. And, practices that eliminate the possibility of using these devices for cheating are something to think about. By encouraging students to bring their own devices into the classroom, we can cultivate a positive approach toward the integration of technology.

Students bringing their own devices is not an excuse for schools to stop spending money on equipping classrooms. Rather, BYOD can help decrease the burden and make technology integrated classrooms a realistic possibility for many schools.

What are your thoughts on BYOD in schools?

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3 Responses to “BYOD in Schools”
  1. Dan McGuire says:

    I’ve been promoting BYOD for a few years now, see http://teachpaperless.blogspot.com/2009/12/free-thinking-as-free-as-walking-down.html I don’t think the issue is at all about money or ‘equity,’ a common excuse for not implementing BYOD. A bigger issue is the fact that BYOD significantly changes how learning happens. Teachers need to learn how to teach in a classroom equipped with today’s literacy tools. In a BYOD classroom students have literacy devices that enable them to create stories and report on all kinds of things in many different ways. A BYOD policy means that there are 30 video cameras in the room, 30 graphing calculators, 30 audio recording devices, 30 sets of encyclopedias and language translators, 30 text to voice devices, 30 voice to text devices, and 30 3D simulators. Paper copies and worksheets are so last century. Most of our notions about the processes and tools of a classroom are no longer applicable. It’s the ability of the adults in the system to adapt to a BYOD classroom that is the biggest factor in how fast schools become current. There should be lots of demand for PLB courses in the years ahead.

  2. Cean Frost says:

    BYOD sounds like an invitation for more chaos in the classroom. Because of budget restraints in our schools, the class sizes have grown. Now we allow kids to bring their own devices into the classroom and expect them to use them constructively to learn? I don’t think so. Then there’s the issue of kids who don’t have the financial luxury of smart phones, ipads, laptops. What do we do about them? BYOD doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.

  3. Jennifer Brisbine says:

    I think inequity is a real concern when considering BYOD. I highly doubt that typical schools could realize all of its students having devices of any academic value. If we relied upon BYOD, we would want some consistency in what devices teachers and students used also. Is our school supply list really going to require devices that cost hundreds of dollars? This would burden many parents. I think BYOD might work if we did something to bridge the gap for possible inequity. Some kids do yield the latest gadget, and so perhaps schools could go 50-50, so to speak.

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