Definitely, every school and every age needs to have a policy in place for using “brought from home” devices in the classroom. Even if the policy is that students are not permitted to bring them. Kodiak High School has a device policy but right now the Middle and Elementary schools have a strict NO PHONES allowed rule. These rules were set by administration not by the School Board. However the SB does define a policy for all schools.
KODIAK ISLAND BOROUGH SCHOOL DISTRICT BP 5138 Students Page 1 of 1 PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES, INCLUDING CELLPHONES The Board recognized that many students possess and use cell phones and other portable electronic devices. These devices serve an important purpose in facilitating communication between the student and his or her family, as well as serving as tools to access electronic information. In the school setting, portable electronic devices are permitted so long as their use is consistent with this policy and does not interfere with the educational process or with safety and security. (cf. 5030 – School Discipline and Safety) Educational Uses In many instances, there is educational value in utilizing portable electronic devices in the classrooms when such devices deliver content, and extend, enhance, and/or reinforce a student’s learning process related to the student’s learning style, the instructional objectives of the class and/or the learning environment. The appropriateness of in-class use of these devices consistent with the instructional objectives within instructional time will be determined by the classroom teacher with approval by the building administrator. Use of portable electronic devices for students with disabilities will be outlined in a student’s IEP plan.
Adopted: 7/25/11 Revised: 3/18/13KHS has had a BYOD policy for at least 5 years.
The question raised in my mind is this. What is the student and teacher benefit for allowing devices. Fosythe County SD in Georgia (K-12 Blueprint) was one of the first SD’s to establish a BYOD policy. While reading about how this school decided to implement this policy I was encouraged by the fact that they allowed each school to make their own decisions about which amount of BYOD use best fit each schools unique culture and climate. This blanket policy of what is accepted is much like KHS policy with each school, and even classroom allowed to make their own choice.
BYOD initiatives were first introduced as a way to solve the problems with having enough technology to provide every student with access. Each student would be responsible for providing their own device. Advantages to this are that the district does not need to upkeep potentially thousands of devices. Teachers are also less burdened by having to manage multiple devices in the classroom, students are most familiar with their own devices and do better managing their learning (Clifford, 2012).
A disadvantage to the BYOD debate is the possible social divide it illuminates. Students whose parents can’t afford a device for their child may be bullied and parents may feel ashamed that they are unable to provide their child with what is seen as a necessary tool. Even schools that are able to provide loner devices may unwittingly place a stigma on these students, who may be viewed a noticeable because of their device (Levine, 2014).
There is also the understanding that students will bring devices to school and will attempt to use them. So rather than fighting a battle with very little to gain why not teach kids how to use their devices to bridge the gap between school and home. We can teach kids how to use their devices responsibly and trust them to take the initiative to augment their own learning.
Clifford, Mirriam (October 18, 2012). Bring your own device (BYOD): 10 reasons why it’s a good idea. Retrieved from: http://www.opencolleges.edu.au/informed/trends/bring-your-own-device-byod-10-reasons-why-its-a-good-idea/
Levine, E. (November 30, 2014). BYOD: A four-letter word for parents and schools? Retrieved from: https://www.k12blueprint.com/blog/elliott-levine/byod-four-letter-word-parents-and-schools
K-12 Blueprint (October 1, 2012) BYOD empowers educators to facilitate learning Retrieved From: https://www.k12blueprint.com/success-stories/byod-empowers-educators-facilitate-learning