Does every school need a “BYOD” policy?

I do think that schools should have a BYOD policy, as long as it is feasible and they have the bandwidth available to accommodate it. I was a student teacher in a sixth grade classroom where the students were allowed to bring their own device on special days. However, it was often frustrating for the students because their programs and apps would not load. It was a reoccurring problem at our school, even on days when we didn’t have BYOD. According to Martini (2013), “Given most users carry more than one Internet connected device (i.e. smart phone and tablet), bandwidth consumption can easily quadruple overnight with a BYOD rollout. Combine this with the fact that more critical services are moving to the cloud such as online testing, attendance and payroll, managing bandwidth is a real concern.” However, I feel that if a school or a district were to officially roll out a BYOD program, they would have to address the need for additional bandwidth.

With the present budget shortfalls, there is a greater need for schools to implement a BYOD policy. In fact, “it seems like a lucrative idea, especially for schools that can’t afford to supply each student with a shiny new tablet or e-reader, but that doesn’t mean the concept hasn’t met its fair share of criticism. Some experts have been quick to call out BYOD flaws and even speculate that BYOD programs aren’t a long-term solution.  Whether that’s the case is yet to be determined, but there have been some successful BYOD implementations” (Walsh, 2012). Personally, I am also concerned about implementing a BYOD program in schools. I worry about cyber bullying, games distracting from learning, theft, and the general safety of students because I will not be able to monitor all of the students all of the time. Even if I could monitor them all constantly, that does not teach students to be responsible with their devices.

I think planning is the most important part of the process, but it can be daunting when you are not sure where to start. K-12 Blueprint (2014) states, “The first step to planning a BYOD program is to engage the community in order to learn from their vision and achieve consensus. A BYOD program needs the support and buy-in of all parties involved, including parents, students, staff, and administrators. Before implementing BYOD, it is important to consider the school demographics to determine if it is a viable technology financing option. Parental support, average household income, and the percentage of students who already own a device all play a large role in the success of a BYOD program.” As with any new program or curriculum, there is a period of learning for teachers and students. The good news is that there are many resources to help schools and districts plan and implement a BYOD program.

References

K-12 Blueprint. (2014). BYOD Planning and Implementation Framework. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from K-12 Blueprint: http://www.k12blueprint.com/sites/default/files/BYOD-Planning-Implementation.pdf

Martini, P. (2013, December 22). 4 Challenges That Can Cripple Your School’s BYOD Program. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from Teachthought: http://www.teachthought.com/technology/4-challenges-can-cripple-schools-byod-program/

Walsh, K. (2012, December 16). Making BYOD Work in Schools – Three School Districts That Have Figured it Out. Retrieved July 14, 2015, from Emerging Ed Tech: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/12/making-byod-work-in-schools/

Advertisements

4 thoughts on “Does every school need a “BYOD” policy?

  1. I share your concerns about inappropriate use of tech devices by students. My biggest concern is theft or damage. Can the school or teacher be held responsible if something happens to a student’s personal devices? This would be an important issue to address when setting up BYOD policies with the input of the community, families and district.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I worry about theft and damage too. I think that part of the consent would have to be that parents understand that the school and I are not responsible for loss, theft or damage. It is a serious issue. I have had a student take our classroom iPod twice last year. It is very easy for students to pocket small items and electronics are expensive.

      Like

  2. Districts need to have well developed policies, security and bandwidth. The staff would need to know the policies, parents and students would need to sign a BYOD agreement. I think the Anchorage School District has really good policies in place for BYOD and I think the schools that choose to participate are quite successful. I have been in high school classrooms where there is a basket at the front of the room that you drop your device into as you walk into class and then pick it up when it is time or at the end of class.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I see bandwidth as being the biggest issue with having a BYOD policy. I like the idea of having a basket in the front of the room to keep the electronics in one location. I think that is a great idea!

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s