For the past few years, many school districts had banned students from bringing mobile devices into the classrooms. Many teachers and administrators believed that cell phones, iPads, and other technological devices were distractions in the classrooms. However, there appears to be a new movement with regards to reconsidering policies that restrict the use of technology brought into the classroom.
One example of a school district which has incorporated BYOT into the school policies is West Mecklenburg High School in Charlotte, North Carolina. The school website states “Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools is committed to prepare all students and teachers to maximize learning by fully integrating relevant technology into academic content to acquire, share and evaluate information, achieve media and technology literacy, and maintain a safe and ethical environment” (see link below). The school district supports the idea of students using their personal technology devices in the classroom “to access and save information from the internet, communicate with other learners and use productivity tools provided by Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools”.
Another local school district that has introduced BYOT is the Seneca Valley School District in Butler County. During the 2012-2013 school year, a pilot project is being conducted in Grades 7-12. The district has devoted an entire BYOT link on its website to explaining the purpose of this program and has selected 13 teachers and classrooms to explore whether BYOT enhances student learning.
In May, 2012, Daily Nightly News highlighted the Forsyth County School District in Georgia. Two years ago this district, outside of Atlanta, began a new technology program in which the “banning and the blocking” of personally owned mobile devices were eliminated. In fact…this program has become so popular the motto in Forsyth has become “BYOT – Bring Your Own Technology to School” (be sure to visit the link below and view the Nightly News video).
A question that arises is “What about the students who do not own mobile devices? “. Many school districts have arranged for those students to have the technology that would be used in classrooms that offer BYOT.
In order to learn more about this latest trend in education, check out the links below:
(West Mecklenburg High School)
(Seneca Valley School District BYOT)
(NBC Nightly News presentation about BYOT in Georgia schools)
(Education Week article)
Donna Hupe teaches ED 101 – Field Experience I and has been a Pre-Student Teacher/Student Teacher Supervisor at Saint Vincent College for the past five and a half years.