You’re a high school student in your last class of the day. You whip out your cell phone and attempt to surreptitiously text your friend under your desk to confirm your after-school Jamba Juice trip. You’re about to hit “send” when –
“Mr./Ms. ___(Insert your last name here)____, is that a cell phone under your desk? Bring it to the front, please.”
Busted. You begrudgingly turn in the offending device to the teacher, promptly get detention, and spend the remainder of the class period and subsequent detention wistfully imagining the Aloha Pineapple smoothie that could have been yours.
Even five years later, such is still the typical cell phone policy in most schools. However, schools are now implementing B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) policies, a recent trend in the workplace that is now making its way into schools. B.Y.O.D. policies in schools range from allowing students to use their cell phones during class to asking them to bring their own laptops and tablets into the classroom to use.
The policy has its pros. Schools that have implemented the policy cite multiple advantages to B.Y.O.D.:
- Technology is the future of education, why not embrace it and encourage students to use it?
- B.Y.O.D. saves schools money, as they don’t have to buy expensive classroom sets of computers.
- Students will become more enthusiastic about learning if they’re able to use their own devices, and are more likely to be engaged in the class activity.
- B.Y.O.D supports independent learning and can facilitate collaboration, problem solving, and communication.
Read a recent article about a school with an “if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em” attitude that’s excited about piloting a B.Y.O.D. policy for mobile devices.
The B.Y.O.D. policy has its downsides as well, and critics cite the cons:
- Device inequality: In most school districts, students come from a variety of backgrounds, so some students could have access to better quality equipment than others, giving them an unfair advantage.
- B.Y.O.D. is an IT nightmare for techies and teachers — schools may not support all types of devices, and teachers will waste valuable class time dealing with the many tech issues that could arise.
- K-12 students will inevitably become distracted and use their devices to be off-task.
- Internet content filtering becomes complicated with a B.Y.O.D. policy, and it could give students access to websites they probably shouldn’t be looking at.
Read another recent article by an ex-educational IT staff member who thinks B.Y.O.D. policies in schools are a downright bad idea.
Clearly reviews are mixed, and only time will tell whether or not B.Y.O.D. implementation will be successful in schools.
What do you think of implementing B.Y.O.D. in schools? Sound off in the comments below!