OLTD 508 Blog Post #2 – BYOD

To be perfectly honest, the whole BYOD thing really isn’t on my radar in any practical way during my current teaching assignment.  Most of my grade 3s and 4s don’t have a device of their own, and we don’t have the structures in place at my school to use them effectively even if they did.  We don’t have a wireless network connection yet, which in my experience has really affected my attempts to introduce mobile technology into the classroom.  In addition to this, my school actually has a policy against students bringing any smart devices to school, as there is a fear that these devices will be lost or stolen.  The only time that a student has brought a device was during a fun friday afternoon, where the student brought his Mom’s ipod to play angry birds on.

I can see BYOD being a much more important issue in middle and high schools.  The one thing that worries me is that not every student is going to have their own personal smart device, and I can see this setting up issues around inclusion, highlighting a distinction between “have” and “have not” homes.  I think if BYOD is going to be a viable policy for your classroom you need to have access to school devices as well to make sure that every student has a chance to participate to their fullest extent.

Smart devices aren’t going away, and many of our students have a better grasp of their full potential than we do.  Subbing in a middle school class recently, I was a little annoyed that some of them chose to take a picture of their homework assignment on the board instead of writing it into their agenda.  I was going to call them on it, but then stopped to reconsider.  Taking a picture was serving the same purpose, and having their homework information stored on their phone meant they were more likely to have that information on hand when they needed it.  Our students will be able to make this transition to a BYOD environment much smoother than we will, and I think we need to be open to any technology that allows them to work smarter, and hopefully in the end, work harder.

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