Week 9 Blog Post

BYOD is an idea and implementation where students bring their own personal learning devices to school (laptop, iPad/tablet, smartphone, etc.) to be use to learning and instructional purposes while in school.  This is an alternative to schools providing a personal learning device for each student.  Many schools across the country struggle to obtain enough devices so that each students can have access to it at any given time. The most ideal situation would be 1:1 ration of devices per students, but because of budget cuts and the high cost of technology, many schools are unable to do this. However, because teachers and schools are responsible for preparing students to live and work in the 21st century, access to devices and technology is completely necessary (Walsh, 2012).  Schools have began using BYOD as an answer to this problem (Chadband, 2012).

BYDO is an innovative idea, and is really the simplest way to allow all students to access technology without crippling a school’s budget.  Many students, especially in high school, bring these kinds of devices to school with them anyway.  In the past educators and administrators had to fight against students use of personal devices during the school day.  Lots of wasted energy and effort went into keeping students off these devices, when it was almost inevitable they would bring them to school anyway and attempt to use them during the day as well (Flanigan, 2013).  Now schools can take advantage of all of this available technology that students have an bring to school anyway, instead of fight against it.  Additionally, one article claims that BYOD is even better than having a 1:1 ratio of devices for students in the school because when everyone has the same kind of device and same kind of software, teachers just tend to do what they usually do, but when students bring in their own devices, teachers are forced to adapt and use new ideas to allow all the different models of technology to fit in with their instructional plan (Flanigan, 2013).

BYOD also complements a flipped classroom really well.  When students come in, they are expected to have done their homework, which usually entails watching an instructional video, however it is inevitable that students will have questions for their teacher when apply the instruction in the class the next day.  One of the greatest struggle of teaching, helping each student as quickly and as thoroughly as possible, can now be augmented through the use of personal learning devices.  One teacher who uses a flipped classroom in a BYOD school has her students refer back to the lecture she recorded on their device until she is able to go around and help each student (Chadband, 2012).

BYOD policies do bring some trouble to district though, and in order to be implemented properly, requires a lot of planning and forethought.  One main issue is privacy and security.  Schools can address this through having different networks for teachers and students (Holeywell, 2013).  Another solution to ensuring that students act appropriately while using technology, which includes discouraging cyberbullying, downloading, looking at inappropriate sites, etc., is by teaching student how to be digital citizens and how to act responsibly while online, additionally, schools can have students sign acceptable use contracts before implementing BYOD policies.

Also while implementing a BYOD plan it is important to have forums for parents and community members to attend, so they can fully understand what the school is doing and why, and to have an outlet to ask any questions (Walsh, 2012).  Schools must also iron out bandwidth issues before starting BYOD (Martini, 2013).  It is important that schools’ bandwidth is able to handle the increased amount of devices that it will support with BYOD, which can be up to 3 or 4 times more devices (Martini).

To me, BYOD just makes sense.  At the beginning of the school year, many schools send out school supply lists, things that they want to make sure students have when school starts.  Why would we not include a personal learning device on that list, when most students will bring one anyway?  Most students love using their phone or tablets, and the ability to use them while in school will only increase their engagement and excitement while learning.  Of course there can always be the stipulation that students who cannot afford one can receive assistance from the school, as happens with regular school supplies, but many students will probably be able to bring in devices, and will want to, and will be able to help enrich and modernize their learning and education.

Here are some really great tips for starting a BYOD program in schools from : http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2013/02/06/02byod.h06.html

Tips

1. Be clear about the rules. Have students and parents sign an acceptable-use policy, or post color-coded signs throughout the school that clearly spell out what is expected in each area and the consequences for infractions.

2. Develop a systematic rollout. New BYOD initiatives bring with them a lot of questions, concerns, and fears from the community (including staff and students). Helping people first understand the benefits and risks—through meetings, training sessions, and printed materials—leads to greater acceptance.

3. Address capacity, not just coverage.Adequate coverage ensures there are no dead zones, but addressing capacity is an important step in preventing network overload. Problems typically occur where students or teachers congregate and use their wireless technology simultaneously

4. Teach digital citizenship. Any BYOD initiative should focus as much on behavior as infrastructure, given the trouble students can get into otherwise.

Chadband, E. (2012, July 19). Should Schools Embrace “Bring Your Own Device”? – NEA Today. 
Flanigan, R. (2013, February 7). Schools Set Boundaries for Use of Students’ Digital Devices. 
Holeywell, R. (2013, September 3). BYOD Policies, Growing More Popular, Create Challenges for Schools. 
Martini, P. (2013, December 22). 4 Challenges That Can Cripple Your School’s BYOD Program. 
Walsh, K. (2012, December 16). BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can Work Well When Approached Properly. 
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5 thoughts on “Week 9 Blog Post

  1. I really liked how you pointed out how BYOD helps work toward a flipped classroom. As schools struggle with how to manage the budget and provide technology… why duplicate the technology that many students already have with them (or at home)? Students can use a Moodle or Blackboard learning environment to compliment the learning taking place in the classroom. (Post blogs, submit assigments, upload videos, take tests, etc.)…

    I think every school that has a BYOD policy should have a mandatory Cyber Bullying, Digital Citizenship/Footprint course required before access to the school network. Inappropriate uses of technology at school would cause them to lose access…??? BUT that opens up a whole new problem. How do you deny students access to the network if key learning assignments/lessons are housed there??? What do you think?

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  2. Teaching digital citizenship is a must! We teach that to our students when they use school equipment too. There are courses online for kids, and it is a valuable component to any technology program. It’s imperative that we teach students how to be responsible on the internet, just as we teach them responsibility in other aspects. 🙂 Great post.

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  3. Tristan says:

    I think a BYOD policy in any school is necessary, because of the fact that students are going to sneak their devices anyways, might as well stop fighting it and just allow it, would save a lot of time and energy. Our school has a cell phone ban, but students still sneak them in, figure out the password to connect to the internet, and then give it to all their friends, so we have to change the password, it’s really a neverending cycle.

    I don’t know if the older generation of teachers just doesn’t see the point of having students bring their personal devices into the classroom, I know a lot of them see it as being a distraction, but really I think it could help with the distraction. I know for me that a lot of times it is just me pulling up the research on the projector when someone has a question and we don’t know the answer, then kids get bored, but if we could have the kids easily access their personal devices and have them look up information it would keep them more engaged. Having a clear policy would help keep students on task, I think more than not students would follow the rules to keep their device than not follow them and get them taken away, of course there will always be the rebels, but do we not do something because of the kids who won’t take it seriously.

    It would also be a great way to teach digital citizenship with their own devices rather than the school’s devices. They probably don’t care a great deal about the school devices because they aren’t theirs, but if we used their devices, it might seem more important to them. They are going to need to know how to use their devices in the future anyways, so it would be an important idea to teach how to use them in the classroom and then add a wholel new element to our classrooms and save the schools a lot of money. Those who can’t afford their own devices can use the devices the school has already bought as an easy solution.

    Enjoyed your blog!

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  4. I really liked your blog this week about BYOD and it’s benefits to the classroom. I think personal devices, if they are taught and monitored using the pointers from ed weekly, could be very successful. I read and thought of “What if my school district allowed personal devices to schools instead of blocking technology, but finding ways to give us more access to internet?” We can do so much with technology, and utilizing personal devices seems like a way to go here. Thanks.

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  5. Great post. I like the comment about students that don’t have a device can use a school device. I agree that tree needs to be clear rules on use, and it will aid in a flipped classroom. the biggest hurdle for me is access to devices. If only a few have a device, and there is not enough school computers to go around, then it is a mute point. But if students have access to technology, the school can support the load, and security can be managed, it is a great idea. The thought of schools not investing in technology because students have their own devices is kind of crazy, but in reality it is what we are going to come to. With the cost of tablets coming down, and smart phones being more affordable, it is a possibility in the future. Thanks for the great ideas with this post!!

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