BYOD helps boost rural school’s performance

Last video in Smarter Schools series features rural principal’s BYOD program that took school from “F” to “A”

byod-programA new video released by the Smarter Schools Project highlights the ways one rural school is driving up attendance, motivating students, and bringing new opportunities through a BYOD program.

In the video, former St. Paul Schools Principal Daisy Dyer Duerr says that because of tech, her school has “everything we need to be just as great as any school in America.”

She said that tech has allowed her students to stay connected and access resources they wouldn’t otherwise have. “I do believe that wi-fi and connectivity is very much like the power lines used to be to us… I think it’s so important for students to have that connection, especially in such a rural area, because our students aren’t going to get that connection at home.”

In recent years, Dyer Duerr’s school went from a state grade of “F” to “A.” At the same time, they implemented a new BYOD program. Rather than confiscating cell phones and punishing students for using them, she helped her teachers and students find ways to use them to further their education.

Despite more than 80 percent of her students qualifying for free or reduced-price lunch, many of them had cell phones and Dyer Duerr wrote grants to help provide additional devices for those who didn’t.

The BYOD video is the last in a four-week series featuring some of the nation’s leading tech-savvy educators highlighting the ways they are using and thinking about education technology.

Other videos in the series feature a teacher from urban Washington, D.C. and suburban Massachusetts. In addition, the first video in the series, featured USA Today’s Greg Toppo and highlights from a Smarter Schools Project event on Capitol Hill.

To learn more about the Smarter Schools Project, visit

Material from a press release was used in this report.

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