Bring Your Own Technology (B.Y.O.T.)by Mark Willis 13 Comments October 3, 2010
For years, schools have set policies to restrict students from bringing their own technology devices to school.
“It is a distraction from teaching.
“It will promote cheating.
“It will not be fair for those who don’t have them.
“There will be inappropriate use.” etc. etc.
With increased budget cuts and higher expectations for achievement in this global economy, is it time for schools to take another look at this issue?
Today more and more students have access to devices like smart phones, iPods, iPads, netbooks and laptop computers.
Can schools find a way to partner with their students to allow them to use their own devices for instructional purposes in the classroom?
If so, what philosophical changes will be required?
What policy changes will need to be made?
What are the legal considerations?
How will instruction have to be adapted?
What training will be required?
How do we address the equity issue?
How do we get both educators and parents to embrace it?
Rather than trying to fight the inappropriate use of technology, does it create an opportunity to teach students about proper social etiquette with technology?
These are all valid questions that must be addressed, but few would deny the value that technology can have today in teaching and learning. As the Georgia School Boards Association (GSBA) and Georgia School Superintendents Association (GSSA) have gone through the Vision for Public Education in Georgia project, technology has been a common theme in the solution for transforming public education. This past week I attended the Georgia Chapter CoSN (Consortium of School Networkers) CTO clinic where I heard from two districts (Forsyth County Schools and Hall County Schools) who are doing exactly that. With one district realizing a decrease in their textbook budget from $2 million to $400,000, it created an opportunity to take a hard look at digital content. Rather than fighting students to keep their devices out of the school, they decided to allow it. It was encouraging to hear their stories and philosophies as they answered these difficult questions. Results so far have been very positive.
As we continuously strive for Excellence in Governance and School Leadership, what implications does all of this have for school boards, superintendents, principals and teachers?
What do you think?
Categories: Leadership, PlanningTags: accountability, board, education, governance, handheld, ipad, leadership, mobile, model, network, phone, school board, technology