Bring Your Own Device
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0 Comments September 7, 2012 By: Sep 7
Features 1/12/2012 By: James Careless The latest controversy in the education press has once again become a handwringing, brow-furrowing discussion on whether or not technology “works” in the classroom. You may be hearing the same concerns in your school or district. Well, here is the answer: yes, tech does work. And what follows is how you can make it work, too.
<img src="http://timenerdworld.files.wordpress.com/2011/04/586_cellphoneclassroom.jpg?w=480&h=320&crop=1" alt="586_cellphoneclassroom" title="586_cellphoneclassroom"/> As protesters took to the streets yesterday to protest the inequality of wealth, two computer scientists in Portland, Oregon are protesting the inequality of resources in schools. Tired of helping “unethical bankers” on Wall Street set up cloud data management systems, Russell Okamoto, 45, said he and co-worker Greg Passmore, 30, wanted to create a state-of-the-art cloud computing system that helps “the little people.” So they turned their attention to schools, and in September 2011, they rolled out Celly , a text-messaging service that teachers and students can use to make classwork more fun and engaging.
Until recently, student electronic devices, from cell phones to iPods to laptop computers, were the forbidden fruit in schools. But with technology budgets languishing and such devices becoming more powerful, affordable and omnipresent in students’ lives, district technology leaders are now eyeing a welcome educational harvest through bring-your-own-device (BYOD) programs. Lucy Gray, project director of the Leadership for Mobile Learning Initiative at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), has studied early BYOD adopters. “I’m stunned by the number of school districts opening their minds to this approach,” she says. High school, middle school and even elementary school students in a growing number of districts are being encouraged to bring in the very electronic equipment they were once admonished to leave at home.
The following is a guest blog post by Dr. Greg Farley. Greg is the Director of Technology at Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District and an Adjunct Professor and course developer at the Graduate Schools of Education at Monmouth University and Drew University. Greg also conducts workshops at K-12 schools and universities and mentors doctoral students and administrators in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Check out his blog Embrace, Adapt, Enhance .
Over the past few years, Forsyth County Schools in Georgia has been moving toward allowing students to bring their own technology to school. The district updated its acceptable use policies, beefed up its infrastructure and piloted the initiative. But the schools decide what that initiative would look like in their buildings.
At Walsh Middle School, the sight of students focused on the glow of smartphone LED screens and the click-clack of keyboards could become common place. Walsh asked eighth-graders to bring in gadgets from home Thursday for Bring Your Own Device Day, a collaboration between Dell Inc. and the Round Rock school district to bring technology into classrooms to help students in their studies. Having students use devices they already own — and are already familiar using — allows the district to save on the expense of buying computers for students. Dell has agreed to help teachers integrate various home-brought devices into lessons. Devices can be anything, from a smartphone to a tablet to a laptop.
Working in technology administration, I have always bowed down to uniformity. I can’t help it…it’s the way we were all taught in the technology industry. It was routine and comfortable. Everyone got the exact same computer with the same image.
I've been thinking and reading about what it would be like to teach a (math) class in a school with a Bring Your Own Device policy. My answer: "My class will teach the world what they learn with me. Everything will be accessible online and on a mobile device."