Week 9 Reflection EDET678; Essential Question: Does every school need a “BYOD” policy?

Aleta May

Emerging Technology EDET678

Week 9 Reflection

There are so many facets to bring your own device (BYOD) policy. Bring your own technology (BYOT) is another way to word this. There are concerns like students being distracted or finding their own ways to work around network sites that are not allowed. Stenger, in an article by Bruder (2014) shares the concerns of some other people that a gap for lower income students would be widened and that it “enshrines inequity” (p. 15). Stenger also questioned the impact BYOD would have on teachers. Others bring up the fact that “banning technology devices is fruitless” (Bruder, p. 15).

The advantages, in my opinion; and after much research and discussion with classmates during a Twitter session this week, and feedback on my blog post; far outweighs the disadvantages. We need to prepare students to use devices with proper etiquette for the school setting to prepare them for the more formal workplaces and/or college programs they will be in. Some examples include using cell phones in class for research, to participate in or create live polls, Skype with people in other schools across the country or even across the world (Bruder).

A list of rules and consequences for appropriate/inappropriate use of BYOD needs to be created and enforced by the entire staff. The issue of teachers consistently enforcing rules came up in a blog post. I believe if a teacher has a project going on that may appear to “expand the rules,” this could alleviate mistrust among staff if this is communicated at a weekly staff meeting ahead of time.

Security of devices can be handled in many ways. One example from the Bruder (2014) article is to keep student devices secured in a cabinet or by locking a classroom, such as during gym time or class transitions if needed. I think the main point is that we can manage the use of devices and educate our students about why we are following these policies so they may learn.

This week, I expanded my understanding on BYOD, though I had studied about this in a course last semester. This topic is extensive! But it is worth addressing and adjusting later on down the road as issues arise or unforeseen apps come out.

Reference

Bruder, P. (2014).  Gadgets go to school:  The benefits and risks of BYOD (BYOD).  NJEA Review, 87 December 2013.

Below are blog responses I received this week and the replies I gave to each:

Friday Posts:

Jessica,

Week 9 BYOD Policies

I have the very same concerns when a handful of staff members enforces any rules. With technology devices, this is an even bigger concern! There are many dangers, and distractions that come with students not following device Internet use policies. Every district needs an effective device / Internet use policy with or without BYOD. It is a matter of safety, respect, learning etiquette. Also, when students are freely using devices in several classes, some of our students are actually being asked by adults outside the school to come home to babysit or to meet them with 4-wheeler keys. While in our community just about everyone knows everyone, we have had an incident where someone was called / texted and someone came flying in threatening one of our students. This created a school lockdown—it all began with inappropriate cell phone use at school during class time.

I agree that the positives of BYOD far outweigh the negatives! Policies and insistence from leadership that everyone reinforce policies (from custodians who know the rules and see students, hall monitors, teachers, teacher assistants, and any staff members) are absolutely needed. Educators need professional development on ways to monitor use, teach policies to students and why these are important, in the classroom.

Aleta

Camille,

What a great way to track students, such as the “identity-based policies for web and network access” and “Location-based BYOD technologies” you wrote about.

The questions asked on the BYOD in the ASD flyer serve as an outline to put the issues of many parents’ concerns right out on the table. The school can control this well, but we still need to invite parents to contribute to ways to solve these problems with the school. I view our roles as interwoven—parents are responsible for their students, and at school, we share this responsibility and need to review BYOD positives and negatives with the school board in an open session with all stakeholders.

I believe I would be a parent who would want my child to carry a cellphone—for their own safety and to communicate with me regarding transition to afterschool activities. What if I got delayed in traffic? I want to be able to contact my child and school in order to make a plan.

Your post really got me thinking—thank you for the insights!

Aleta

Josie,

aletakmay

July 15, 2016 at 11:49 pm

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

@Jjleach757Leach Hi Josie 🙂 I responded to your awesome post! It is waiting for moderation. Aleta

That is awesome—I did not know that you were a tech for the ASD for over 5 years! Good point that students’ technology devices opens up so many opportunities, possibilities and never thought of previously, avenues for learning.

I wonder if some of the programs (such as certain math or reading programs purchased by the school) they need are contracted for school use devices only? Fortunately, I know that some programs are catching on to allowing students the option of using programs at home as well, which means the program would be on their own personal devices anyway.

Pre-sessions with instructors would help. Also, having links for teachers to click on that connect to how to use the 100+ mobile devices would save teachers so much time to not have to look these up on their own.

Great idea—having students sign-up on a sheet to report problems, sounds like a way to report issues. Were these only problems that regard the mechanical operations of the device? I wonder if they had a place to anonymously report device abuses.

Aleta

Melissa,

I agree that we need an overall district policy that leaves room for school adaptation to their unique needs. This may also be run past the larger school board to avoid too many limitations that overly restrict each school’s autonomy.

It does seem fair that each student’s family should take responsibility for providing their own device, if they already own one and bring it to school anyway.   The question I have then is how fair is it to have several students using the one student’s personal device? There are potential abuses here as well.

Teaching students “to bridge the gap between school and home” with their own personal devices, especially since parents usually want their child(ren) to have a cell phone at school anyway, seems to be the best route to take. Teaching students how to use devices make it more useful to them for homework and draws them into general research of their own interest. Brining their phones to school improves communications between students and family as needed at school—it also seems fair then that students (and their parents) would be willing to allow teachers and administrators to quickly look at texting to make sure it is being used for home communication and not social media that has nothing to do with school projects.

Aleta

~~~

From Gerald:

One Response to EDET678 Emerging Technologies: Essential question: Does every school need a “BYOD policy?

                  unicyclepro says: 
.comment-author .vcard July 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm (Edit) 
.comment-meta .commentmetadata I am very lucky to be in a district that values technology, and encourages its use in the class or in any manner that would increase student achievement. Our high school has an array of airports in all parts of the school, a large amount of laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, and graphing calculators. Not quite a one-to-one school, but probably close. I’ve talked to the IT director on a regular basis, and even though we have the devices for students to use, there is always the issue of maintenance, repair, and loss of equipment. No technology lasts forever. (Well I’ve used some 1990s graphing calculators that still operate great!) But our budget is shrinking, and the district can foresee the use of BYOD in the near future. So they have put a lot of their funding to the infrastructure(increasing broadband width, increased wi-fi access through airports, increased monitoring of network use) It is working, but teachers are slow to use BYOD in the class. Soon we will be forced to have students use BYOD. It will be a challenging transition.

To Gerald,

aletakmay says:

July 17, 2016 at 5:20 am (Edit)

Hi Brian,

I’m so glad your district is so supportive of technology. Ours is as well. I believe it would help to keep our IT’s across such a wide exspanse of land area up-to-date with repair a little better; with that said–this is no small job!! I’m glad your 1990s graphing calculators work great; I hereby grant a hopeful blessing on your getting updates as well. With 2017 you may soon have calculators that are 30 years old–I want the best for you.

I agree, after all the reading that moving funding toward infrastructure is majorly important. We have great devices, and I believe we need increased wi-fi access through airports for the same reasons you describe.

Thanks for the conversation!

Aleta

triciaturley05 says:

July 17, 2016 at 3:20 pm (Edit)

Aleta,

I knew that fairness was a big concern through my own research on this topic, but considering it a matter of civil rights takes that fairness to another level. I don’t think that fairness would be a problem if the BYOD policy was used for those students who just choose to bring devices, if they are not required to use them in class. However, requiring students to bring their own devices to use, or providing students with a device that is inferior to those devices of their peers is a big deal and should be made a big deal. Schools will need to take extra precautions to prevent this inequity from occurring.

To Tricia,

Tricia,

The point you make between students just being allowed to choose to bring devices, as opposed to being required to bring devices is just a good way to compare/contrast the differences. Thank you for your input!

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