BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a movement across the nation in which districts are leveraging the power of students’ personal devices. The concept of BYOD is simple enough in theory. Why not allow students to use those powerful handheld devices for learning in school? The difficulty comes in the “how” to implement this economic and empowering theory. This “tuesdays” is dedicated to the examination of BYOD possibilities.
A creative website
At FETC two weeks ago, I attended a session by William Watts, Instructional Technology Coach in Prince William County Public Schools. He was flowing with great ideas on how to implement a BYOD program on the classroom level. He has created an amazing website to help us all with our journeys into the BYOD world. http://www.byodtools.com.
The website contains ideas for:
- Research and more
Thanks Mr. Watts for this great resource.
An image to share
A 5th grade student working with his own device.
“One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.”
I encourage you to look into your district’s BYOD policy (or lack of it) and be an advocate for leveraging the power of your own students’ device for learning.
Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of BYOD.
The advantages are immediately apparent.
- The district can spend less of their dwindling budgets attempting to keep up with the latest technology.
- Teachers do not have to know how each device operates.
- Students can use a device that they are already familiar with.
- Handheld devices of today are more powerful than computers 10 years ago.
The disadvantages are:
- Teacher fear that the students will use the devices inappropriately.
- Fear that a device will be lost or stolen.
- Lack of professional development on how to implement a successful use of hand held devices in the classroom.
- Not every student will have a device.
How do you do that?
Many districts have embraced the concept of BYOD by investing their technology funds in building the infrastructure (better Wi-Fi, secure connections to protect the students, purchasing a few devices for those who do not have one, etc.) However, the concept of BYOD is still very foreign at the classroom level due to fear. In the districts where BYOD has been successful, a culture with expectations and norms are established campus-wide and the students and teachers have learned that these devices are a powerful tools for reading, researching, designing, and creating a variety of presentations that “show what you know” through images, video and more.
There will always be one character in any classroom that does not follow expectations and norms. A BYOD classroom is no different. Why deny the whole class the opportunity to access the vast information available at their fingertips because one student may break the rules? Deal with that one student and take the journey of BYOD with your students. After all, these days we are a community of learners. Technology is ever-changing and always improving. Let’s give the students a chance to use their powerful devices for learning and not just social media.
As always, I am