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‘Bring your own device’ catching on in schools

Ed-tech access is an issue, but students' personal devices are an attractive option to a growing number of districts

'Bring your own device' catching on in schools

“The studies give a sense of what happened when students had a device that they controlled in the classroom and could carry around with them. … We’re beginning to get some understanding of how students use technology,” Hezel said.

It is especially important to understand how students use mobile devices for learning, and how educators can encourage that use, so that technology is not incorporated without a positive impact.

“One thing that we’re always going to come back to is that technology is just a tool—it may help to amplify learning, but it’s not the panacea, and we’re always making statements about the appropriateness of technology,” Hezel said.

Research-based benefits of one-to-one mobile learning initiatives might include:

  • Improvements in attendance and discipline
  • Broader array of learning resources and experiences
  • Increased frequency and quality of supportive individual and group interactions
  • Improvements in student and parent attitudes toward the school
  • Increases in student achievement

U.S. Department of Education (ED) data from May 2010 indicate that about half of all public schools in the U.S. are giving handheld devices to administrators, teachers, or students.

But most of those handheld devices go to administrators, Hezel said. “A few teachers get mobile phones, and very few schools actually give those mobile devices to the students,” he added.

Still, a growing percentage of students with cell phones or smart phones makes it possible for teachers to incorporate mobile devices in their classrooms without targeted device donations or distributions. April 2010 data from the Pew Research Center indicated that 75 percent of students ages 12-17 own a cell phone or a smart phone.

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Comments:

  1. haysja

    May 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    In the article you mention a “custom app” about Jamestown. But what if the student brings an Android device or a QNX based tablet instead of an iPad or iPhone? Before planning any BYOT you must decide what kind of “apps” you will be running – whether they be IOS, Android, or strictly web-based – and then make sure that all students and parents know the “rules” for BYOT, In addition to the parents knowing the “rules” of BYOT, the teachers must also know what kind of apps will be used. Just because a teacher can run an app on their iPad does not mean that all students will be able to run that app on their devices.

  2. haysja

    May 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    In the article you mention a “custom app” about Jamestown. But what if the student brings an Android device or a QNX based tablet instead of an iPad or iPhone? Before planning any BYOT you must decide what kind of “apps” you will be running – whether they be IOS, Android, or strictly web-based – and then make sure that all students and parents know the “rules” for BYOT, In addition to the parents knowing the “rules” of BYOT, the teachers must also know what kind of apps will be used. Just because a teacher can run an app on their iPad does not mean that all students will be able to run that app on their devices.

  3. celly

    May 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Great article thanks! I hope more educators/schools enable BYOD learning. Just two weeks ago, my company launched a free educational service called Celly that lets students, educators, and parents collaborate in text-based groups using BYOD cellphones. Celly http://cel.ly works via texting enabling low entry point access (does not require every user to have a smartphone) and enables group admins to moderate/filter message content and membership as needed for diverse classroom scenarios. Several schools in the Portland, OR area (our hometown) and around the country are running test pilots. We want to hear any feedback from educators as we believe BYOD has incredible potential. Text START to 23599 to give it a try!
    Thanks, Russell, Founder of Celly, inc.

  4. celly

    May 2, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    Great article thanks! I hope more educators/schools enable BYOD learning. Just two weeks ago, my company launched a free educational service called Celly that lets students, educators, and parents collaborate in text-based groups using BYOD cellphones. Celly http://cel.ly works via texting enabling low entry point access (does not require every user to have a smartphone) and enables group admins to moderate/filter message content and membership as needed for diverse classroom scenarios. Several schools in the Portland, OR area (our hometown) and around the country are running test pilots. We want to hear any feedback from educators as we believe BYOD has incredible potential. Text START to 23599 to give it a try!
    Thanks, Russell, Founder of Celly, inc.

  5. mkunkel@vartek.com

    May 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Schools will need to have a robust and dense wireless infrastructure to allow students to access internal school resources. The challenge will be to create a “cloud” (internal/private) which can be integrated with the public cloud. Look for technology partners who can help build this integration and maintain a stable infrastructure.

  6. mkunkel@vartek.com

    May 3, 2011 at 6:31 pm

    Schools will need to have a robust and dense wireless infrastructure to allow students to access internal school resources. The challenge will be to create a “cloud” (internal/private) which can be integrated with the public cloud. Look for technology partners who can help build this integration and maintain a stable infrastructure.

  7. samloose

    May 4, 2011 at 4:33 am

    BYOD Bring Your Own Device? Students bringing their own devices. I am undecided. surely taxes should pay for devices for school students. What about the kid without the tablet, do they use a stylus and wax?

  8. samloose

    May 4, 2011 at 4:33 am

    BYOD Bring Your Own Device? Students bringing their own devices. I am undecided. surely taxes should pay for devices for school students. What about the kid without the tablet, do they use a stylus and wax?

  9. mluhtala

    May 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I teach in a free-range media/BYOD school and I can’t imagine educating millennials any other way. I blog about how our administrators’ innovative vision allows us to embed 21st century learning across the curriculum in meaningful ways – not artificial constructs. It is transformational.

  10. mluhtala

    May 4, 2011 at 10:37 pm

    I teach in a free-range media/BYOD school and I can’t imagine educating millennials any other way. I blog about how our administrators’ innovative vision allows us to embed 21st century learning across the curriculum in meaningful ways – not artificial constructs. It is transformational.

  11. blankenships

    May 5, 2011 at 1:02 am

    BYOT is not only a great idea but will soon become the norm. As an administrator, I visit schools and with one step into the door, I feel as if I stepped into 1973. Students are sitting in rows working on work sheets or taking a test or quiz as the only type of assessment tool. Students are simply powering down at school and as soon as the last bell sounds, students enthusiastically power up. Becoming a one-to-one school can seem financially impossible, however, if 75% of students have smart phones, then it’s time we embrace this technology. If we are not preparing our 8th graders for the year 2015, then we are not preparing our students for college. It’s time schools develop a technology friendly policy to create an environment where teachers can mesh technology with both science and math and create real world problems. NO MORE sifting tirelessly through the textbook hunting for definitions only to copy the answer straight from the book. In the real world, I would have googled the question in five seconds and read at least three different empirical articles related to the question in three minutes, while summarizing my answer using “dragon dictation” or creating a document simply by talking, and then simply sharing these thoughts with my peers in real time using an EtherPad!

  12. blankenships

    May 5, 2011 at 1:02 am

    BYOT is not only a great idea but will soon become the norm. As an administrator, I visit schools and with one step into the door, I feel as if I stepped into 1973. Students are sitting in rows working on work sheets or taking a test or quiz as the only type of assessment tool. Students are simply powering down at school and as soon as the last bell sounds, students enthusiastically power up. Becoming a one-to-one school can seem financially impossible, however, if 75% of students have smart phones, then it’s time we embrace this technology. If we are not preparing our 8th graders for the year 2015, then we are not preparing our students for college. It’s time schools develop a technology friendly policy to create an environment where teachers can mesh technology with both science and math and create real world problems. NO MORE sifting tirelessly through the textbook hunting for definitions only to copy the answer straight from the book. In the real world, I would have googled the question in five seconds and read at least three different empirical articles related to the question in three minutes, while summarizing my answer using “dragon dictation” or creating a document simply by talking, and then simply sharing these thoughts with my peers in real time using an EtherPad!

  13. honeydotmartin

    May 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    As a technology facilitator in an elementary school, I totally embrace BYOD. Of course, the students without their own device will be provided for but the cost will be dramatically reduced if students that already own devices are able to use them in school. This also gives you the added bonus of using the same device at home and school . There will be some logistics as far as monitoring use, protecting the devices, etc. However, teaching responsibility through this experience will be valuable to the students as the same issues exist in the real world. It, of course, would be wonderful if there was enough funding for all of these devices to be purchased for the schools, but it just isn’t happening.

  14. honeydotmartin

    May 9, 2011 at 3:13 pm

    As a technology facilitator in an elementary school, I totally embrace BYOD. Of course, the students without their own device will be provided for but the cost will be dramatically reduced if students that already own devices are able to use them in school. This also gives you the added bonus of using the same device at home and school . There will be some logistics as far as monitoring use, protecting the devices, etc. However, teaching responsibility through this experience will be valuable to the students as the same issues exist in the real world. It, of course, would be wonderful if there was enough funding for all of these devices to be purchased for the schools, but it just isn’t happening.

  15. oekosjoe

    May 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

    As a once-in-a-while substitute teacher in high school, and regular evening faculty member in history, I thoroughly enjoy my students’ tech capacities. They demonstrate several things at once, all of which are critical to a school’s success.

    First, they show that nothing has to be universally shared, and that individuals have different ways to accomplishing similar – or sometimes very different – things. This is a key paradox, but only one of many.

    Second, they show they collaborate more readily than they compete, and they learn the value of building ideas together rather than staying in the silos of subject, age, grade, and other expectations. You don’t need to be a genius to do a google, and it’s a lot more fun to correct a teacher than to bully another kid.

    Third, they integrate new information they find by themselves lots faster and more gleefully than anything I can tell them. And then they revel in the complements they earn from guys like me. That is a paradox few teachers get to enjoy, but it’s particularly sweet in classes like Calculus, that I, myself, haven’t had in 40 years.

    Fourth, they recognize that tech is a utility, not an end in itself. Even when they slide into playing games, they can be challenged by more interesting, more nuanced games. In a class of French, for example, one of the kids asked another about Darfur while playing a game trying to get my attention. I suggested he look for the Darfur game online, and what that game might say about genocide, and how that message might relate to Libya or the US Mafia. Very interesting to watch how he drew a crowd of other kids, and they collaborated on fascinating answers based on a game-you-can’t-win….

  16. oekosjoe

    May 27, 2011 at 11:20 am

    As a once-in-a-while substitute teacher in high school, and regular evening faculty member in history, I thoroughly enjoy my students’ tech capacities. They demonstrate several things at once, all of which are critical to a school’s success.

    First, they show that nothing has to be universally shared, and that individuals have different ways to accomplishing similar – or sometimes very different – things. This is a key paradox, but only one of many.

    Second, they show they collaborate more readily than they compete, and they learn the value of building ideas together rather than staying in the silos of subject, age, grade, and other expectations. You don’t need to be a genius to do a google, and it’s a lot more fun to correct a teacher than to bully another kid.

    Third, they integrate new information they find by themselves lots faster and more gleefully than anything I can tell them. And then they revel in the complements they earn from guys like me. That is a paradox few teachers get to enjoy, but it’s particularly sweet in classes like Calculus, that I, myself, haven’t had in 40 years.

    Fourth, they recognize that tech is a utility, not an end in itself. Even when they slide into playing games, they can be challenged by more interesting, more nuanced games. In a class of French, for example, one of the kids asked another about Darfur while playing a game trying to get my attention. I suggested he look for the Darfur game online, and what that game might say about genocide, and how that message might relate to Libya or the US Mafia. Very interesting to watch how he drew a crowd of other kids, and they collaborated on fascinating answers based on a game-you-can’t-win….

  17. mgozaydin

    May 29, 2011 at 5:25 am

    In Turkey we solved the one to one netbook problem.

    Turkish Telekom distributes netbooks 10.2″ , 1 GB RAM , 160 GB HDDR, 1024 x 600 resolution, windows 7, 2 years warranty

    at $ 6.66 per month for 36 months. By LENOVA

    Total is $ 240 .

    Why Amerika cannot do that

  18. mgozaydin

    May 29, 2011 at 5:25 am

    In Turkey we solved the one to one netbook problem.

    Turkish Telekom distributes netbooks 10.2″ , 1 GB RAM , 160 GB HDDR, 1024 x 600 resolution, windows 7, 2 years warranty

    at $ 6.66 per month for 36 months. By LENOVA

    Total is $ 240 .

    Why Amerika cannot do that