Recently, there has been several discussions about students and teachers bringing their own device (B.Y.O.D.) to school. There was even a discussion that took place during the Digital Learning Day Livechat session. With school districts still trying to find ways to deal with disappearing budgets, would BYOD be a solution? If this will become the norm one day, what are the pros and cons of BYOD? Is it happening in your districts already? Do you have some type of policy or plan in place? How do you train for this? What type of network or system should be in place before this can happen?
Share your thoughts, ideas, concerns and solutions.
We are very fortunate at our school to have the technology we need for our teachers to educate to the best of their ability as well as to prepare students for post-secondary endeavors. At this point, our district continues to provide the technology needed for our teachers. I can see however the struggle some districts are having with funding and technology. What worries me most is how are these districts going to prepare for the future requirements of online testing? If districts are having their teachers BYOD, how is this going to work? And if teachers are going to have to start funding their own technology, they are going to need more than a $250 allowance for taxes for classroom purchases! I personally don't see every teacher in a district being able to fund their own technology. Sad that it could come to this...
How do you feel about students and teachers bringing their own mobile devices such as iPads, cell phones, tablets etc. and using those instruction? Or does your school district provide iPads and tablets for teachers and students? From my experience it is not a requirement that teachers and students bring their own mobile devices, but a preference that they want to use their own device. What mobile devices does your district currently supply?
Its a great point that you have raised. I want to share my prospective in this regard. My experience is with a country and education system that provides a little technological help for students (in most cases). Here there is no tradition of students bringing own device.
I always prefer to bring my own device to facilitate my students. If I remain looking for any outer help my students will remain ignorant from the technological advancement going around the globe in education. I know I am not able to bring a drastic change with my limited resource but I am trying to do what ever in my capacity.
The situation in advance countries like America is very different from Pakistan.
The solution be provision of resources for every student at institute level. Otherwise there is no harm in using in own devices by teachers. As the aim of a teacher should be the maximum facility of the student to make him/her a constructive part of global citizenry.
Vanessa, personally, I am a big fan of BYOD, but many of the IT folks I talk to are not. Many are concerned about outside devices on their networks, cheating by students (cell phones) and several are being encouraged NOT to allow those devices by their district superintendents and governing boards.
As to the cell phone problem, I truly believe that is nothing more that good classroom management. As to the virus concerns by IT, I really think there has to be a way to ensure the safety of the device before allowing it on the network, if that is the problem. District Superintendents and Governing Boards usually don't really understand what BYOD will enable there students and teachers to accomplish, and I really believe it will save the districts a lot of money.
I would appreicate any advice as to how to convience Governing Boards as to the usefullnes of BYOD. We are starting to have this discussion in AZ and any thoughts would be appreciated.
Finally, here is the link to a Kevin Honeycutt video. It's been around for a long time, but still speaks volumes.
....."This kind of unconventional approach to schooling, in a public school system that’s tangled with strict rules and regulations, was one of the tactics being hailed this week when President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke about the importance of bringing schools to the 21st century by finding smart ways to integrate technology into the learning process at the inaugural Digital Learning Day."
As an online educator- all I have is BYOD - I don't know what device students are using. Now there is the set of minimums and must haves from the university- but you don't know what each student is truly working with.
I just was looking into this and found that since 2009 Forsyth County Schools piloted and then implemented a district wide BYOD program - for more information and to see their resources check out -http://www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/page/824 There are also a number of schools that are in the middle of piloting the program this school year and so far it seems like there is a lot of success.
The key to success is having the infrastructure to support the technology - because the majority of the programs do not allow students to access their own wireless network- but rather work on the school's network.
I imagine we will see more of these options or lease options from schools that allow students to have their own device during the school day - especially if the shift to digital textbooks takes off.
Julia, I'm wondering if there would be any advantage to counties or states creating closed Intranet circles like we are starting to do here in AZ. It would seem to me that it would help calm the fears of many IT departments concerning security, etc. It would also have built in redundancy in case something happened along the network.
Do you have any thoughts on that?
I've found BYOD is only applicable when used at home for me. My district's extremely strict policy limits students from using a BYOD. I always try to make sure my online activities can be done from any kind of device so all students can access the devices from home.
I LONG for the day when my district's policy changes and more students are capable of using their own devices. (I know one of the poorest students at my school has a Kindle FIRE. I say, let's get this party started already!)
Glen, besides the possibility of bringing a virus to the network, possible vandalism and destruction of the device, in your opinion, what are the REAL reasons most districts have yet to adopt a BYOD policy? Here in AZ there are several districts that have fully implemented the policy and many more that won't even consider it. What do we need to do to get the "powers that be" to understand that BYOD, if implemented properly, can be a great thing for the districts?
Neil and Glen,
There are more and more schools that are beginning to use BYOD. As with any new technology there is always hesitation and with good reason, I suppose. It does take some time to discuss the benefits and what may or may not happen. Wouldn't it be nice if those little stumbling blocks could already be solved before the technology even became available? As a baby boomer (one who grew up just getting excited about using the one electric typewriter that was in our class), we weren't even aware of these technologies, but I'm betting that everyone of us either has one if not more of a computer,laptop, ipad, iphone etc. We do get excited about a tool that makes our life easier.
I'm sharing the links of the schools in Colorado that are experiencing the "growing pains" of using BYOD.
The following link tells about expanded use of cell phones, ipads in their schools (Manitou Springs, Academy School District, District 11, and a charter school within a smaller district of Elizabeth)
In our Cell Phone course, one of our participants shared this video article that they ran across.
Thanks so much for the links and information on the Colorado BYOD programs. I'm glad to see some districts are moving forward and not taking an eternity to make decisions. You bring up a good point about how important it is to recognize there are concerns and benefits that should be considered and discussed with all stakeholders. I can enthusiastically state that I get excited about EVERY technology tool/toy I use. On a regular basis, I show my ideas/uses to my principal, our school's community council (parents and teachers), and my district IT director. I'm hopeful that someday I can help institute the change we are talking about in this thread.
I have not yet head what "logical / illogical" reasons are being used for our BYOD policy. It seems to be a case of "Because I said so" more than anything else. I suspect it is somehow related to network control/viruses as you mentioned. I'm guessing my district will need to decide what to do for those who cannot BYOD before they will consider any implementation process. This technology progress sometimes seems to move forward at the speed of a melting glacier!
I was amazed to find, when I moved from the K-12 to the University environment, that everything is open, accessible, and works (for the most part) like a charm. Think about it, universities are almost completely BYOD! I think the big hurdle for K-12 is the filtering requirement and the worry of accountability for student actions. Our students have to login to use the University resources, but there is a very friendly wireless guest access. BYOD will come but more slowly for K-12. The economy will drive the change.
Cathie, I agree with your last statement, that the economy will drive the change, as districts will need to upgrade, but not want or be able to spend the money. Having said that, what do think will will see when that begins to happen and districts change to BYOD?
I know what I mean in my head, I hope that makes sense to you.
I have had several students (fourth-graders) bring their own devices, but only on specific occasions and with parental knowledge and consent. My big fear is that the device will get damaged or stolen. One student brought his laptop to help present his science fair project, one student brought his video camera to shoot a commercial for his classroom store, and I have allowed students to bring their iTouches on occasion. Many students have phones they bring daily. But, as a rule, I don't allow the students to bring their own devices.
A story about the video camera mentioned above: the student shot the video with his teammates, transferred the video, edited, etc. A week later the student asked me if I'd seen his camera. He said he had put in in the back of his desk and another student confirmed, but it wasn't there. We looked high and low, asked any and all -- nothing. I got an e-mail from the mom two days later. They found the camera-- in the student's backpack. That was a relief, and that is why I make sure the parents know that there is a risk in allowing the student to bring his own device.
If our students' parents had the money to get these I think it would be fine to show what is going on in the world and how to use them safely in cyberspace.We have so little equipment compared to other schools. But, I'm with Eric about losing the stuff and parents have to realize this.
I did see an article online about some schools outlawing Uggs (boots) because students would sneak their phones in to school inside their boots. They were texting, etc, esp. during testing. So the schools said they could wear them to school, but had to change them once they got to school.
A district I work with did a survey of parents asking if they would be willing to purchase a device for their child if a personal device were allowed on the school network. A surprising number of parents (even at the most economically challenged population school) said YES!
I think in some cases we should consider asking parents to provide devices. Once they begin to see that it makes a big difference in their child's engagement and achievement, they will be on board. (OK, I know we will never have 100%, but it's something to consider.)
I wonder how that survey would work at my school. We are a Title 1 school and have just shy of 60% free/reduced lunch. These students do not pay lab fees to take my science courses. It might be very eye opening if our data matches your district's. I can't wait to share the idea with my principal.
Interesting article in The Journal about a school, Boulder Valley who is accelerating their BYOD program. They are redoing their wireless network in order to keep up with the demand of BYOD. I thought this was interesting because I was just at the conference TCEA and heard the same thing from districts. Most of the districts at TCEA who spoke of their plans for BYOD had decided to overhaul their wireless network before implementing BYOD. So no iPads, netbooks were allowed to be purchased until after the overhaul of the wireless network took place.
How does your school district implement and adjust wireless? Before or after implementation.
Now I'm curious!!!
Last Friday, my computer could not connect to the printer over our wireless network. I worked with my Tech person and in the process discovered my building wireless is being "updated" to have THREE wireless networks available. Perhaps this is a sign of upcoming changes . No mention was made about any plans and I've not heard of anything related to decisions about BYOD or similar proposals from my district's IT director. (On the bright side, he is a good friend and has my number on his speed dial.)
It does sound like they are getting the infrastructure in place for more accessiblity for wireless tools. It's sad however, that the information was not shared about why the update is taking place.
With the expanding use of cell phones and ipads, it causes me to remember how just the use of computers began in the schools. From just one computer in the back of the library with only a 1200 baud conection, I remember sending that one sentence email which took about 20 minutes. How fast the use of computers within the schools grew from that. How quickly the modems changed so that we had greater and greater connection speed! A speeding train for sure.
We are now embarking on another fast vehicle to help our students gain information quickly. With those tools, requires additional support and I'm thinking building that structure will develop quickly. Hopefully all will know when updates will happen. Who would have thought, that even 5 years ago, we have the tools we have available? And what's even more exciting in my eyes are the people who are in charge of installing that equipment. Some of those are people that I have had in class.
Maybe I am in the minority but I am concerned about the students who have no access to their own devices in schools that do not have the budget to acquire the technology. These is still a great divide between the have and the have not among schools and this, of course, includes technology. Yes, maybe most students have all the tech. they need but I don't like to see the impoverished of America and other countries excluded from the richness in terms of learning that others take for granted. Regretfully, I do not have suggestions for solving this problem but am open to input from others.
My humble opinion.
I so agree that those who are incapable of purchasing such devices should not be left behind. I hope plans will be made to allow these students to borrow materials from the school or district. I cannot imagine having a class of "haves" and "have nots" as I attempt to move them forward in their digital learning opportunities.
Tecnology inclusion in school is a greater effort. It is well and good to bring technology both by students and teachers inside the classroom. But some of the children have financial problem to buy these technology. The school should provide some financial help to bye these technology.
When BYOD is an option at a distict and there is also technology provided by the district to students and teachers or you suggesting that districts should provide financial assitance for students and or teachers to purchase personal devices of their own?
I just conducted an informal survey of a class of 8th graders at our Title I school to find out how many of them has a smart phone. A third of them do not have a smart phone. What are the chances they would have any other device useful in school? We do have a cart of 29 iPod Touch devices that could provide for those students without devices of their own. So, maybe on a limited basis we could provide access for a time.
Maybe BYOD could work at our school after all on a signup system for the iPods.
Not all students can buy the text books necessary for class, so the school district provides books. It might be the same thing. If you can't afford the technology, the school would provide for them - netbooks, COWs, iPad Touch, iPads, etc. We can't just stop and do nothing because some students can not buy the devices. We will have to provide in some way so ALL can get ahead and not be left behind in the 20th century.
So great to hear everyone finding solutions to the implementation of technology in learning. One thing to keep in mind: just because they have their own device, does not mean they should sit in their seat and do their own thing. With collaboration, as well as the implementation of available district equipment, we can make sure every student has access to an abundance of information.
Thanks for a VERY appropriate reminder. A peer and I were discussing today how a 2:1 or 3:1 student:device ratio allows for better collaboration than a 1:1 situation does. If a 1:1 environment does not promote collaboration and 21st century learning, it will become a huge problem for all educators (IMHO).
WOW! That never occurred to me. You are right. 3:1 and 2:1 make perfect sense. And that helps address the problem of those who cannot afford their own devices. That just leaves high poverty schools where most students are without devices. And upgrading wireless capacity. Seems like a much more solvable challenge now.
How young or at what grade level do you think students should be allowed to bring their own devices to school? Or is there an age limit? Should there be some type of policy in place before students and are teachers are allowed to bring their devices? Is there an age limit? What type of policies must be in place to implement this? (Also see BYOD Policies). My district is in the process of developing a policy for BYOD, but BYOD has already happened. Does your district have a GUEST network where vistors to the district can have access to the Internet? What type of devices are you seeing on your campuses. For example, if students bring iPads to read ebooks, does your school offer electronic books or have resources to help these students and or teachers access these electronic resources?
Love to hear what is happening at your districts.
Age appropriate is an excellent question. I know there are a LOT of students at my school who carry cell phones. Our district's policy is for these devices to not be brought to school. I, however, see many students texting as they walk to the bathroom during classes. Based on student behavior, I would suggest 9th grade (15 year old students) may be most appropriate for allowing BYOD. This age student seems better able to use tools appropriately and I think might be capable of making good choices about how they use the devices in school.
I, however, am NOT sold on the age level. I look forward to ideas from other middle school teachers and elementary teachers. Perhaps this should be started at a much earlier age.
I'm at the school level so I don't know what plans are being made but I can respond to some of your questions. Our system does have a GUEST network and anyone who accesses it must have some kind protection program loaded on their device. The school system has a "bookshelf" of ebooks accessible to students and teachers of the system. Some schools also have their own ebook collections. Several schools are getting into iPads or iPod Touches. Some of the schools have made ereaders available to checkout in their media centers/libraries. I would not be surprised if there isn't talk/planning for BYOD going on at the system level right now. Our tech folks seem to keep up-to-date on technology issues.
I agree with BYOD idea. I already have some students who want to bring their IPAD and other technology to school. So I am setting some guidelines in place and hopefully will get to try to pull this off. I think it should be ok as long policies and expecations are put into place first. I am looking forward to adding a Kendall to my classroom and putting some books for my students on it. I will always be willing to share my tech. devices with students. If a student is going to learn from something, I say bring it on. Starting a program BYOD would be awesome. I fear their would be some teachers who don't want the responsibility of that much technology in their classrooms that doesn't belong to them and some parents who would be fearful of sending their child to school with technology from home. I still advocate for school district to provide the most up to date technology into all classrooms.
My district provides a lot of technology for student use. We, however, are a LONG way away from having a 1:1 program in the district. Our district AUP currently does not allow students to bring their own devices. Like you, I would be willing to try and run the pilot for BYOD if I could get approval.
It is helpful in terms of having all your resources in one place. A downfall is that you are still limited to being on your LEA's network (at least in my district) which would eliminate the sneak around that make the BYOD idea tempting (ie being able to show you tube videos.