Friday, May 25, 2012

Bring Your Own Technology BYOT

BYOT is a hot topic in K12 right now with many policy issues.  From a policy perspective, what do you think schools should do?



30 comments:

  1. My current district is working on making it a policy that students can bring their technology to school. I personally think that it is a great idea. The district where I work has had to make major budget cuts in the last few years and as usual our technology has taken a hard hit. For example, I feel like it would be amazing for our students to be able to use there cell phones in class as a timer in a Science Lab.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I think it is a great idea that students are able to bring their technology to schools. Many kids feel the technology is a part of them and to disconnect them from it at the school door automatically puts schools at a disadvantage. I will use any interest I can to keep my students engaged and excited about school. However, I do believe there are times when the technology should not be used. The benefits of the technology outweighs the negative.

    ReplyDelete
  3. In the districts I've watched, this has really been a non-issue. None of the fears have come true.
    Be sure you have your policies and Acceptable Use Policy in place.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes! I am so glad to finally see a school district that is embracing the technology that our children use on a daily basis. I am so happy that the educational community is realizing that cell phones, tablets, and lap tops are simply replacing the tools of the past. I do believe that there needs to be policies in place. However, think of the benefits the students will reap. What an awesome idea!

    ReplyDelete
  5. It is comical how devices in schools are taboo, but they are a part of our students’ everyday lives. I am sure the using their own devices affect our students in more ways that are obvious. I can imagine students desiring advanced technology not only to surf the web, but take to school for learning opportunities. They become excited about learning, learn to use personal technology to the fullest, take ownership of their learning, and share their experiences with other students. My daughter would love to be able to use the things I have bought her in school. It enhances their learning and allows them to take the technology home and learn outside of the classroom.

    There are always some negatives, so hopefully they prepared for them as well. It is good to hear that all students will have access, even though they may not have the devices at home. Kids will be kids, so of course some will be cruel and arrogant about what they may own. The good thing is that teachers can take this opportunity to incorporate citizenship and even awards for good character and sharing. Student will hopefully learn about online safety, so they can be safe at home and in social settings. I see it as a win-win situation.

    ReplyDelete
  6. One of the bigger problems that arises, at least in my school, is the increase of theft. We were reading Lord of the Flies and one of my students brought her Nook to school. One day last week it was stolen and now I am being questioned by the parents and the principals. Policies need to be in place so that the teachers are liable for each and every piece of student owned technology that comes into the classroom.

    ReplyDelete
  7. For the 2011-2012 school year Rockwall ISD implemented a BYOT policy just like Lewisville ISD in the video. The students can log on through wi-fi and use their own devices for research, surveys, completing online assignments and much more. In addition we have carts of 10 Mac books that students can use. I am pleased with the program and the benefits have outweighed the disadvantages in my opinion. The challenge is to get all teachers to buy into the program and get them to find ways to integrate the technology into their lessons. Using technology to get and give feedback to the students is a great way to increase formative assessment in the classroom while keeping the students engaged in the process.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think allowing students to use their own technology in the classroom can only increase learning and motivate students. Technology is the biggest part of most students' lives outside of school, so why not ue it to engage them in school? Once this year, I let students take out their phones and convert amendments to the Constitution to text language and text them to eachother. Even though this assignment would have been viewed as boring by many students without the phone, I had many students tell me how much fun it was because they could use their phone. This is an example of how technology can astrononomically increase the level of engagement. One thing we are looking to do as a social studies department next year is to put all lessons on teachertube. For those of you unfamiliar with this website, it is youtube for educational purposes. This will help students who were absent to catch up as well as help students to have a tool to go back over information they didn't understand the first time. With a BYOT program, this idea would be even more impactful. Hopefully our district will see the advantages of BYOT and incorporate the idea soon!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Due to lack of funding for technology at our high school, this is something many of us have started doing unofficially in our classroom. My students prefer to use their phones to conduct research on the web, because they are much faster than our outdated laptops. Additionally, students will use the camera function on their phones to take pictures of notes they didn't finish, pages of the book, etc. I frequently use www.polleverywhere.com for warm ups. The students love being able to use their phones and see their responses immediately recorded online (everything is anonymous). Perhaps the greatest benefit is teaching our students how to appropriately use such technology. In the real world, just like in school, there is a time and a place for everything. We shouldn't shy away from phones and other technology, but instead, show students how to integrate technology appropriately.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I LOVE polleverywhere.com!!!! I totally agree with your comment about there is a time and place for everything. We are not only teachers of our subjects, but life guides for many.

      Delete
  10. I think it an amazing idea. Teachers and students would have to work together on planning how this would work. Appropriateness is the key to their success! I work in a district where we have one to one laptops for 6-12 grade. I could see this being an extremely valuable to students and teachers. I currently allow them to use phones but see the importance of other resources they are use to using.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I think that it is a great initiative for Lewisville to start using.  The district could save a lot of money by having them use their own technology instead of having to buy it, and the likely hood of it being more up to date and current is a perk.  My district is currently trying to block any screens that are smaller than 5x5 from accessing the districts IP addresses.  This in my opinion is a huge step back as far as using the technology that is available.  We do not have enough computers in our school to help all the students so not allowing them to use their phones would be detrimental to them as students. 

    ReplyDelete
  12. It seems that in a few short years, that technology has changed tremendously including educators thoughts on use of technology. When I first started teaching, if a student brought a cell phone to school then it was grounds for a parent/teacher/administrator conference.
    Now, technology is so heavily integrated in every walk of life, that not using it would be considered wrong. With module 1 stating the drop-out rate for students is high, by using technology in the classroom we can help motivate them to become life-long learners. Even if they still decide to drop out, by using technology they will be able to become productive members of society as even working at McDonald’s and WalMart now requires a familiarity with touch screens, online time clocks, and filling out an on-line job application.
    Using technology in class also can expose students to finding answers easily and quickly. It will expose them to various parts of the world that might inspire them to become the next Einstein or Hawkings. I work in a Title I school district that has very limited resources and is land locked. Students drop out at a high rate and those at-risk have no real dreams, except what they are fed by entertainment media. In order to compete with these messages, technology should be integrated so that students are inspired to become comfortable with the “outside world” and what it has to offer them, if they choose to learn.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Currently, our district has a policy on cell phones that they are not to been seen or heard during school hours. Although, some schools have, with principal's permission, allowed students to bring their Kindle/Nook type of devices to school. I think we are missing out on an opportunity to get our students involved using their own technology such as cell phones. Teaching at a middle school, most students have cell phones or a tablet by this age. They would LOVE to be able to use those in the classroom. I am a little concerned about monitoring them, but as others have stated, the positives outweigh the negatives. Hopefully the district will overhaul our technology policies in the near future.

    ReplyDelete
  14. BYOT is something I have been a proponent of for several years now, but finding the appropriate and allowable usage is tricky. Many schools have an out of sight policy for the technology students have in their possession every day, this policy is not practical, nor is it easily enforced. This policy will consume an administrators time and keep them from more pressing duties. We have to find a way to let our students use these devices, that are for all purposes an extension of who they are, as a learning tool. Most every student in my school has a smart phone, and those that don't have some type of internet access during the day. I think we should encourage them to use these devices to gain knowledge and information that will help them be successful in the classroom and in life. I often find myself telling my students to use the computers in my room when they ask me general knowledge questions or how to spell something, because district policy says cell phones aren't allowed to be used in class. I find that when I tell them to look this stuff up they often respond with, "Oh, I didn't think about doing that." Finding information on the web should be a first thought to them when they have a question they do not know the answer to and the answer is not readily available. Personally, I am thrilled and amazed at the knowledge and information I have at my fingertips with the use of my smart phone. The students of today literally have the knowledge of the world at their fingertips. We as educators need to be able to teach them how to weed out the information that is unrelaible. My final thought on BYOT: students have been bringing the technology to school, but we have suppressed it's use. It is time to let them use it to enchance their learning and our teaching.

    ReplyDelete
  15. From a policy perceptive I think that this is a good idea as long as the district has a strong web filter and an acceptable use policy that needs to be signed by the students and their parents in order for them to be able to use the technology is school. Recently my school has purchased 20 new ipads for the teachers to use within their classroom. Then teachers throughout the district with access to an ipad of tablet can join a facebook like social network for teachers where they can share their ideas and apps that work within their classroom.

    ReplyDelete
  16. The district that I work in has this same policy and I think that it is great! If we embrace the technology that our students already have at their finger tips I personally think our students are much more likely to use it for educational reasons. If we choose to create policies that limit or forbid the use of their technology then realistically they are still going to use it behind our backs and it is most likely not going to be for educational purposes. My daughter is a first grader in the district I work in. Her 7th birthday is next week and she is getting an i-pad from her grandfather. She is very advanced academically, however, she is one of the youngest in her grade and is very immature. She has struggled with behavior problems this year, she gets bored and acts out. Her father and I are very concerned about preventing these issues next school year. Will having the opportunity to bring her i-pad to school give her ownership of and choices about her learning that will prevent her from acting out? Of course there need to be rules and policies in place regarding BYOT and they need to be taught and reinforced to the students. However, I think allowing our students to BYOT we are providing real world experiences for them and allowing them to become excited about and engaged in their education. I believe that most students regardless of their socioeconomic background have smartphones, kindles, i-pads, i-touches, etc. However, there are some students that do not; so I hope the schools have technology devices for these students for borrow.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think that the present barrier to the use of students' own technology is it being used for learning or entertainment. My present school district has not totally banned the use of students' personal technology in the classroom though it is frowned upon by most teachers. The sentiment is if it can not be monitored to insure appropriate use then it should not be allowed. The complete elimination of illegitimate use may never be possible. This suggests that the analysis should center around whether or not the positives or benefits out-weigh the negatives or associated problems.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Kemberlea (Kasey) EllisMay 29, 2012 at 4:46 PM

    My school district does allow BYOT. This has been beneficial in most cases with a few students who use it inappropriately. I have teachers in my building who have class specific twitter accounts so that the students can follow their tweets regarding curriculum. Teachers are also allowing students to use their smart phones to access information if needed. Allowing students to use their own technology has cut down on the number of referrals as well. Students understand that bringing their own technology to use at school is a privelage that can be revoked for inappropriate use. We do have computer carts with PC's on them but seem to have more technical issues due to viruses etc. Since BYOT has been in force we are seeing more responsibility from most students in regards to appropriate use.

    ReplyDelete
  19. My previous school district tried to ban all forms of technology brought to school, even going as far as to reward those teachers who collected the most forms of home-brought technology. For example, a year-end faculty party would be enhanced, meaning better food, better entertainment could be achieved by teachers becoming technology police.
    The school district would have been better served if they simply worked to embrace the technology in the form presented here.

    ReplyDelete
  20. This is a hot topic in my district, and I am worried that we will get a blanket approval to let students bring their own devices, but we will not think things through before hand. Teachers, while excited about the possibilities, are concerned about how they will manage usuage, how to prevent theft, how to reach kids who do not have a device or who have limited data. Currently, all of it is banned (unless a principal approves specific use), and there are even fines associated with use of ipods and cell phones. However, we did have one teacher launch vocabulary using vocabulary.com, which makes vocabulary into a game, and students told her they were staying up until 2 in the morning "earning points" on their cell phones. The kids are excited about it; I just really hope my district is smart about the implementation.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I understand how BYOT can be a real cost-saver for a school or a school district. The parents have to keep the technology up to date, rather than the school. The parents have to replace the technology when it gets broken, stolen or lost. The parents are responsible for any inappropriate images or applications that are put on the technology. The schools can save thousands of dollars in purchasing hardware, replacing devices and policing content.

    These savings illustrate the real question I have with BYOT. The question is not whether students should use technology in their learning. I think it's self-evident that they should. A school forcing students to forego the benefits of technology is a school that is making itself irrelevant and out-dated. The real question is: What is the public school's responsibility for providing the tools of learning equally to all students? Is BYOT the way to create digital equality? I think BYOT is more likely to expand the digital divide than to close it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Rachel,
      I agree with you about digital equality. I work in a district with a large number of low socio-economic students and a high percentage of ELL students. Our district is in the planning stages of providing every 5th - 12th grader and Ipad next year. They are taking the necessary steps to make decisions grounded in proven research and results. By providing the Ipads, we will even the playing field for our students in terms of access to technology. I find this opportunity for our students to be very exciting and look forward to the progress we see over the next few year.

      Delete
  22. I love the idea of bring your own technology (BYOT) program. I teach math and I have allowed my students to bring a music player (Ipod, MP3, even their phones)on certain days. Of course there are rules and procedures involved to protect myself and the school. It is an amazing reward for students to pull out their headsets and 'jam' while doing their work! I am hoping to expand this to instructional using during not and not just project days or specified days.

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is going to a hot topic for some time in education. How does a school use technology to help students be successful while also monitoring what is being done with the technology while in class? I like the idea of BYOT, the upside is students will not have to learn using old methods, the downside is some students don't have the technology or the self control to not use technology in the wrong way. In my experience students from certain backgrounds don't usually have the study skills and problem solving skills to learn on their own. I am afraid a divide would be created between the have and have nots as well as the self disciplined and not self disciplined. I am sure there is a way to integrate and learn these skills while using technology, it may just take a few years before students are at a level playing field in having and using technology in an appropriate way.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Victoria WebsterJune 3, 2012 at 8:35 PM

    It is rumored that for the 2012-2013 school year my district will be implementing a BYOT policy. All I can say is finally I won't have to be sneaky! I have had this policy in my classroom for a few years. This year I have utilized smartphones, iPads, and iPods more than any of the previous years. To clarify I have a set of 3rd generation iPods for my classroom. There are 18 in the set, my smallest class was 24 and my largest was 36. For most assignments it was not realistic for them to share so I faced the dilemma: do I allow the iPods to go unused or under used or should I just allow the students to bring their own devices and use my iPods for those students who do not have a device. For anyone concerned with classroom management or the monitoring of what the students are doing don't be. I teach middle school and here is the reality: they are going to be on their phones. What we decide is do we forbid it and have them sneak text and facebook or do we encourage it and have it in the open so we can see what they are doing??? I say encourage it, you won't be disappointed!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Bring your own technology (BYOT) is an area that school districts are slow to move into due to the possible consequences of students having access to more on the internet. When using school owned hardware filters can be put in place to make sure students are not looking at sites that are not appropriate at school. There are also fears of students hacking into school computers, as well as having more classroom distractions.
    School districts that are sticking to their regular policies such as no cheating and no classroom distractions are having good luck allowing BYOT. They are finding that there does not have to be a lot of additional policies put into effect. The one area that does need more restrictions is accessing inappropriate websites. But this is actually covered by the federal Children’s Internet Protection Act. This law requires that schools prevent students and staff members from accessing material that is obscene, pornographic, or harmful to minors. If they don’t comply they can lose federal funds. Schools can therefore use this statute to require students to comply and not go to websites they should not be accessing at school.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I think schools are going to all eventually be forced in the direction of BYOT for teachers. Technology grows and evolves more quickly than budgetary constraints allow. Why should a student not have access to an ipad if their teacher has one to use? Not all schools will be able to afford an ipad for each teacher. Sadly though, the implications of allowing this are heavy. This makes monitoring immensely more difficult, and puts district technology personnel at a distinct disadvantage in terms of maintenance and troubleshooting. My former district allowed teachers to BYOT with the understanding they could not be networked (then what is the point?), were not able to receive tech support, and in agreement that the district had no liability for lost, stolen, or damaged personal property brought to school. I think we are reaching a time of inevitability on this issue.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I love how their intro and this is inspiring for me to create something for my district. I also particularly liked the idea when the principal said, "we stopped telling them no, and started saying yes." The other principal also mentioned, "School is now a seamless part of their day." This is so awesome to hear schools are heading in this direction. When I was in school, instead of saying no, they just called me a "hacker" and asked me to fix everything.

    ReplyDelete