Category Archives: Bring Your Own Device

Speak Up data featured in “From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD”

Last week, Christopher Piehler wrote an article for The Journal about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies in schools. “From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD” focuses on the evolution of these policies, and how smartphones were banned in schools not too long ago. Furthermore, he notes that while iPads were the dominant devices in classrooms, that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore due to the Android and Microsoft tablets “boasting lower prices and easier enterprise management.” Check out a snippet of his article featuring data from Speak Up 2013 below:

The era of one device dominating classrooms is over. Notebooks face competition not only from tablets, but from new categories of devices such as convertible laptop/tablets and phablets, as well as a device that many districts once banned: the smartphone. As our cover story shows, an increasing number of administrators, teachers and parents are giving up on cell phone bans and coming out in support of BYOD. According to Project Tomorrow’s most recent Speak Up survey, 60 percent of parents said they would like their children to be in a class where BYOD was allowed. And perhaps more importantly, two-thirds of parents said they would purchase a mobile device for their child to use in class. The same survey shows that a large majority of students in sixth through 12th grades already have access to smartphones.

While BYOD helps districts control spending on devices, it leaves ed tech leaders to ask the question, “What do schools do for the students who don’t have devices?” Furthermore, “Does it ultimately help or hurt learning for students to do schoolwork on the same device they use for texting and games?”

Be sure to check out the original article, “From Cell Phone Bans to BYOD” by Christopher Piehler and let him know what you think about his two questions regarding BYOD in the article’s comments section.

Our Speak Up survey asks questions regarding BYOD policies in schools, and what parents think about BYOD as well. A question we asked last year is:
Some districts are considering adopting a Bring Your Own  Technology (BYOT) to School program which would enable  students to use their own mobile devices within instruction. What  is your current policy on the use of student owned mobile devices  (smartphones, tablet computers) within class? 

Speak Up provides an easy way for students, parents and educators to participate in local decisions about technology, as well as contribute to the state and national dialogue about educational technology. Data from the surveys – including data regarding online classes – will be released in February 2015. Click here to register for Speak Up 2014 and mark your calendars for the survey’s launch date on October 6!

Launching a BYOD Program: Complicated Yet Rewarding

Launching a Bring Your Own Device program in schools can be both exciting and complicated. While the addition of technology in classrooms and homes is exhilarating, school districts may struggle with important details such as making sure each child owns a device, providing a strong Internet connection, and questions around distraction. Although each school has different problems regarding BYOD, it can be agreed that the inclusion of mobile technology in learning environments will help shift instruction to be more collaborative, learner-driven, and inquiry-based.

Forsyth County Schools in Georgia tackled their BYOD program struggles by creating a learner profile (a set of criteria the school district wanted students to learn in school) and by changing the culture surrounding devices. By creating a learner profile, Forsyth was able to guide schools within the district to focus on critical thinking skills, students’ readiness to compete in a global environment, and communication skills among other things. Furthermore, by changing the culture surrounding devices, the district was able to show students that mobile devices can be used for educational purposes and not just for texting and Facebook. The district has even incorporated social media into the classroom by introducing students to “back-channeling,” which is an ongoing conversation on social media about what students are watching; back-channeling enables teachers to see how students respond to the material before moving to the next lesson.

To read the full article for “How BYOD Programs Can Fuel Inquiry Learning” (Mind/shift), click here. Have experience implementing a BYOD program at your own school? Let us know in the comments section of this post!