Students using their own device in the classroom? No. It cannot be! It is prohibited! Or…is it?
Recently, I discovered that I am part of some “73% of teachers,” according to an article published by Mashable, who are using cell phones in the classroom with students for learning activities. Leveraging mobile devices for learning is nothing new, and many classrooms have invested in 1:1 device initiatives, such as iPads, for students. Despite its apparent benefits, this can be costly and not always the most beneficial route. Though the jury is still out on iPads for every student in the classroom, a much more accessible alternative exists–allow students to use the devices they already have. Of course, this approach is not going to look the same everywhere, nor at each grade level, yet it is still one worth exploring.
Many students are walking into classrooms each day with mobile technology, and often that technology is more powerful than the technology available to them at school. The potential for using devices in learning to collaborate, communicate, and create content is endless; however, policies currently in place in many schools make it challenging to allow teachers to explore device use in classrooms. Nonetheless, there are many aspects of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) that can inspire schools get started in considering policy changes that would allow device use for learning.
What is the potential for BYOD in the classroom? Seemingly, the possibilities are endless. Students can engage in what is referred to as 21st century learning, create digital notes or portfolios, collaborate in real-time, journal and reflect on their own learning, or participate in blended learning opportunities. In my own classroom, we use devices for so many different aspects of science class, that it has rendered us nearly paperless.
The basics of a BYOD policy for students should be not all that different than a policy for employees and adults in the workplace or higher education. To introduce some of the basic elements of BYOD, OnlineColleges.net put together this infographic illustrating what it is and some ideas for use. Getting a sense of the BYOD realm is the first step toward considering how it can function in your classroom.
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