News

‘Bring your own device’ catching on in schools

By Laura Devaney, Managing Editor
April 29th, 2011

Some district initiatives ask students to bring their own mobile devices to class.

Mobile devices are now found in the hands of most children, and school leaders are using that to their advantage by incorporating devices that students already own into classroom lessons and projects.

Concerns remain about students who are unable to purchase or borrow a device for use in the classroom, but districts might find creative ways—such as asking local businesses or community organizations for help—to provide devices in such instances, advocates of the trend say.

With access issues in mind, allowing students to bring their own devices from home can offer educational benefits, as well as some surprisingly positive results when it comes to creative thinking and classroom behavior.

While there has not been a large amount of research on mobile learning devices in the classroom, research on one-to-one computing is a type of presage to some of the current research on mobile technology, said Richard Hezel of Hezel  Associates, during an International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) webinar that focused on mobile learning.

Studies of Maine’s one-to-one laptop program, for instance, revealed that laptops were used for math and science, organizing and sharing information, and playing educational games.

“In Maine, findings indicate that teacher knowledge and practices and use of technology increased,” Hezel said. Math and reading scores increased, and all involved learned lessons about technology, learning, and assessment.