The study stated that “IT managers no longer have the authority to veto the use of mobile devices or limit use to a specific brand or operating system."

A growing number of school leaders agree that mobile devices—including students’ personal devices—can, and should, be used in the classroom to promote 21st-century learning and student engagement. But supporting such a diverse array of devices is proving to be a challenge for school IT officials, many of whom say it’s time to revisit mobile device management and security practices in K-12 education.

According to the New Media Consortium’s 2011 Horizon report for K-12 education, mobile learning has a “time-to-adoption horizon” of one year or less.

“Mobile learning is fast becoming a reality and has really skyrocketed from last year’s report,” said Laurence Johnson, CEO of the New Media Consortium, “in large part because of how useful mobile tech is in emergency preparedness on campuses.” (Read “CoSN’s crystal ball: Get ready for mobile learning, cloud computing.”)

And at the Consortium for School Networking’s 2011 conference in New Orleans, not only did most attendees carry their iPads and smart phones from meeting to meeting; the annual conference also featured its main discussions around the topic of mobile learning.

Supporting the Horizon report’s prediction about mobile learning, CoSN launched an initiative to help school leaders understand how to lead mobile learning programs successfully in their districts. The organization also invited notable school district, state, and national leaders, as well as private-sector experts, to discuss strategies for mobile learning implementation. (Read “Experts give advice on mobile learning.”)

As teacher and administrators create new policies for the use of mobile devices in classrooms, IT leaders are also calling for updated mobile device management practices.