September 17, 2013
Week 3 Blog
Bring Your Own Device
- What are the arguments for and against BYOD programs? Please cite your sources!
- For: BYOD will allow for districts and schools to cut cost and increase student engagement.
- Against: Security concerns, including data protection and compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA).
- According to the article Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools “maintains a student wireless network that is separate from the one used by teachers and administrators. Students must also agree to the district’s acceptable use policy, and take responsibility for maintenance of their own computers and tablets.”
- “New Jersey’s Middletown Public Schools encourages students to take the lead, inviting them to make videos that demonstrate acceptable and unacceptable use of personal phones and computers.”
Here’s what Georgia’s Forsyth County Schools recommends when thinking about implementing BYOT. (Find more at www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/byot.)
1. Think carefully about your goals.
2. Survey students about what gadgets they own.
3. Get buy-in from parents and the community.
4. Determine rules for personal devices, and make sure everyone is clear on them.
5. Test connectivity by inviting students to bring in their devices.
6. Ask students about their experiences with their own gadgets.
7. Plan how you can use BYOT to develop fun, challenging activities for students.”
- If this road to BYOD is started will it lead to families and students becoming responsible for providing their own devices?
- “In most BYOD pilot programs, students have to sign some sort of agreement to only use the device during class time for specific projects. Students can sometimes log on to “guest” wireless networks to get around website blocks, and teachers still need to be present in the classroom to help students learn from the new technology.”
- Extra training and support to teachers and families is needed.
- “Without proper planning, implementation and professional development,” explained Andrea Prejean, associate director of the National Education Association’s education policy and practice department, “BYOD may not work as people had hoped. And guess what? The teacher will probably get blamed. It’s not fair that schools invite students to bring these devices and expect student achievement to improve just because these technologies are in the classroom.”
- “BYOD could present other hazards as well. When students bring their own devices, cyberbullying and other problems associated with social media may come with them. Many students, for example, don’t understand how much they should share online, and they could end up posting information that could jeopardize their academic, or even professional, futures.”
- “It’s a promising idea, especially for schools that don’t have big tech budgets, but it has met with some criticism from those who don’t think that it’s a viable long-term or truly budget-conscious decision.”
- If you were in a position to implement BYOD in your school, would you do so? Why or why not?
- I know that our current structure at OPS would not allow it and I don’t think I’d want it as a school wide program at first, if I had to move to it. I believe budgets should be evaluated and communication with families, teachers, and school boards should start a discussion about this.
- If schools go to BYOD I believe that the safety of their students should be their first priority. Teachers who are using student devices should be trained on the correct use of them and the policies on student work.
- This program is worth a try and if it doesn’t work there is always the prior.