According to THE Journal report from March 2014, 84% of high schools and 74% of middle schools have a BYOD program. 88% of districts provide professional development to their teachers on the use of mobile devices and apps for instruction, 83% provide encourage the use of mobile devices, and 81% encourage the use of mobile apps for instruction. (Schaffhauser, 2014) Alarming statistics for a trend that started a few years ago. I know that our district, at the moment, is still providing most devices for use in school, with a middle school that is 1:1 (laptop), but that cannot continue. With budget decreases each year, schools cannot maintain such programs, and must look for alternatives.
Currently, our bandwidth is great. Not all schools in different parts of Alaska or the country is there yet. We are ready for BYOD, but have no official policy. The infrastructure is there to accommodate, but we need to proceed with a firm policy. Our next step would be to begin professional development on BYOD in the elements described above. I would encourage our district to prepare now and allow students to begin bringing their own device for school use. There are many students that already bring their smartphones to school, although not always using it for school work, but can be utilized in assignments, projects, practice, and assessments. I do believe if we are provided with training, BYOD can work and be successful. The district does a great job of encouraging the use of technology, but it is school-owned technology. We need to ween ourselves off this program.
I commented on another person’s blog yesterday stating that it would be great for wireless carriers to get involved in helping the BYOD trend with its own program for education. With such great deals for capable smartphones, I’m sure there could some type of discount rate for parents wishing their children to have their own device. Something like $15 a month, with no data included because schools could provide free wi-fi because all the district has to do is purchase more bandwidth, and not new devices, or maintain existing devices. I believe this could work. A partnership can be started that could benefit everyone!
BYOD is the future and we need to prepare for it…
Schaffhauser, D. (2014). Report: Most Schools Delivering BYOD Programs, Training Teachers in Mobile Device Usage. THE Journal. Retrieved from https://thejournal.com/articles/2014/03/27/report-most-schools-delivering-byod-programs-training-teachers-in-mobile-devices-usage.aspx