It was really interesting to me to read about different opinions on BYOD policies this week. When writing my initial blog post this week, I hadn’t fully formed my opinion. However, after reading and reflecting, I agree with Daysha and Melissa that districts do need a BYOD policy, even if it’s to say that devices aren’t allowed in the classroom. If I were to further my opinion, I’d say that I agree with Sara, that it should be up to the teacher about whether devices are allowed in the classroom (following district/school policy). Something that really stuck out from the Twitter chat was the importance of TEACHING students how to safely and respectfully use these devices. I think this would help extend the classroom learning past the walls of the classroom as students would be more apt to use their devices to learn at home too.
Melissa had looked up her school policy and I thought it was an interesting thing to consider, so I looked up ours as well. We have a 1 to 1 laptop program for all MS and HS students, but this is what I found about BYOD:
High School students may use cellular phones before and after school, and at the discretion of the Principal, during the student’s lunch period. Elementary and middle school students (grades K-8) may use such devices only before and after school. During school and school-sponsored activities, students will comply with administrative and staff member directive regarding use. Students are required to turn over cell phones when requested and those who refuse to do so are subject to disciplinary actions.
Students carrying cell phones to and from school and during the school day assume all responsibility for appropriate use and risk of loss. The district assumes no responsibility for loss or damage to cell phones whether in the possession of students or confiscated by school personnel. Parents/ Guardians needing to contact their child during the school day MUST contact the school and the student must call home from the office.
If a student is using a cell phone, including any of its functions, for any reason during restricted time, consequences listed under General Misconduct /Health Issues and those listed below will be imposed.
Electronic devices such as Blackberries, iPads, iPods, DVD players, and other electronic devices are not permitted in the school during class time. They are only for use during the lunch hour. NWABSD is not responsible for lost or stolen items. These items will be confiscated and held by the administration if used in the classroom. Repeated violations may result in disciplinary action under General Misconduct/Health Issues on the disciplinary chart.
Personal electronic devices may be used in the classroom when teachers have an assigned task that includes the use of electronic devices. Students must abide by the Internet Acceptable Use Agreement when accessing the Internet with allowed personal electronic devices. Any misuse of the Internet Acceptable Use Agreement will be subject to disciplinary action.
Overall, I think if the teacher is willing to try it, BYOD may be successful in upper grade classrooms (if you planned to meet all the challenges including havving devices available for students that can’t afford them), but I wouldn’t want devices in my primary grade classroom. I think we can teach the basics and really instill using technology appropriately and safely, but I wouldn’t be ready for 2nd graders to bring devices in. (Although, I realize I am writing this from a district/classroom well stocked with technology!)