Opinion
Classroom Technology Opinion

Bring Your Own Device

By Stu Silberman — September 20, 2012 2 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

BYOD
-- “Bring Your Own Device” - is being heard more and more these days in and around our schools. The devices, in most cases, are mobile phones, tablets,
and/or laptops. Should schools establish policies allowing students to use their own technology tools in the classroom? I say, yes, with some caveats.

First, why are we even asking this question? Good technology, when used properly, is the window to the world, and we must be sure we are teaching our
students the best way to use these tools. If handled properly and equitably for all students, BYOD programs can increase student achievement while saving a
lot of money that schools can use for other needs. Additionally, many schools can’t afford to provide a device for every student, but they can afford to
supplement a BYOD program. It is very important that all students have equitable access; schools must provide devices for students
who can’t afford their own.

Allowing students to use technology only at home is just unacceptable in today’s world. When a student walks into a classroom, he or she should have these
learning tools available. Not permitting students to use available technology for classroom learning would be like sending a carpenter to work without a
hammer or saw or other tools needed to get the job done. Imagine a surgeon who was denied the use of technology during an operation. Teachers and students
need to use the most up-to-date tools available.

As with anything we do, there are going to be downsides and
obstacles to a BYOD program. As schools and districts move forward with BYOD programs it is important to have strong acceptable use policies in place. Students need to understand the
expectations before the program starts. For example, a student should not be permitted to interrupt a class by having his or her phone ringing (and/or
taking a call) during instructional time. He or she should not be allowed to use the device to play non-instructional games or visit social media sites
that are not connected to the learning process. These and other potential issues must be dealt with before a BYOD program begins.

As a self-proclaimed (novice) techie, I can’t imagine how I would be able to get my work done every day without constant access to my technology. These
tools will direct and assist the work world our students will enter, and we need to be sure they are ready. School leaders must
either find ways to provide the technology for students or develop smart policies allowing them to use their own.

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Public Engagement & Ed Reform are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.


Commenting has been disabled on edweek.org effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Teaching Webinar
6 Key Trends in Teaching and Learning
As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and a return to the classroom for many—we come better prepared, but questions remain. How will the last year impact teaching and learning this school
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School & District Management Webinar
Ensuring Continuity of Learning: How to Prepare for the Next Disruption
Across the country, K-12 schools and districts are, again, considering how to ensure effective continuity of learning in the face of emerging COVID variants, politicized debates, and more. Learn from Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent
Content provided by Class
Teaching Profession Live Online Discussion What Have We Learned From Teachers During the Pandemic?
University of California, Santa Cruz, researcher Lora Bartlett and her colleagues spent months studying how the pandemic affected classroom teachers. We will discuss the takeaways from her research not only for teachers, but also for

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Classroom Technology Quiz Quiz Yourself: How Much Do You Know About Online Student Engagement?
How is your district doing with online student engagement?
Classroom Technology The Future of Blended Learning: What Educators Need to Know
More than two-thirds of educators expect their use of blended learning to increase during the 2021-22 school year.
8 min read
onsr edtech blended
Getty
Classroom Technology Why School Districts Are Unprepared for COVID-19 Disruptions, Again
Bad state policy, misplaced optimism, and a focus on full-time virtual schools left districts scrambling to educate quarantined students.
11 min read
onsr edtech hybrid
Getty
Classroom Technology Opinion Some Teachers Are New to Laptop Integration. Here’s How to Manage It
Let students help set expectations and make sure both you and they know how to use the tools are just a couple suggestions educators offer.
15 min read
Images shows colorful speech bubbles that say "Q," "&," and "A."
iStock/Getty