The "BYOD" Debate

RESOLVED: Schools should adopt policies allowing students to bring in and use their own computing devices (phones, laptops, tablets, etc.).

(Wilkerson, Heyssel, Morejon)
(Coward, Sachs, Henderson)

1. Cost Effective way to increase technology in schools. (ALM)
"It goes without saying the a BYOD policy allows a district to get closer to a 1 to 1 device ratio without incurring the costs of a 1 to 1 program." - Oak Hills Portfolio, Cincinnati.
Oak Hills Portfolio

When students are able to bring their own device to school, the school is saving money on the cost of purchasing device. Districts are facing more budget cuts and money restraints than ever before, so by allowing students to bring their own device, districts can save money.

Student-provided devices frees money so the district can provide for those who cannot afford their own.  (MWH)

 2. Sample BYOD School Board / District Policy and Report (ALM)
Here are two school district's BYOD Policies.

BYOD Policy Chequamegon School District

Hookset School District BYOD Policy

3. Encourages collaboration. (JKW)
"The students will share devices, and in lots of situations, that encourages collaboration among them." -  Tim Wilson, Chief Technology Officer for the ISD 279-Ossea Area Schools in Minnesota
Creating a Robust and Safe BYOD Program

4. Creates a student-centric classroom environment. (JWK)
"it puts the means for "coming to know" in the palm of each child's hand, making classrooms student-centric instead of teacher-centric. Education will them move from "I tell" to "We find." - Cathleen Norris and Elliot Soloway
From Banning to BYOD

5. Students learn how to use their device for learning. (JWK)
"As students discover how to learn with their devices, they are able to extend their learning beyond the school day and often choose to continue participating in online discussions and collaborative activities for academic purposes" - Lisa Nielson in TheJournal
7 Myths about BYOD Debunked

6. Kids get excited to use the technology and will be more engaged in learning. (JKW)
BYOD in Schools Pros and Cons

7.  Using personal electronic devices prepares kids for the real world; this IS 21st century learning.  (MWH)

8. We must conciously expose students to internet tools beyond the social networks they are already using - all the while protecting them (and us). 

This link gives a list of tips for how to create a workable policy; it also makes it clear that schools are embracing what companies are already exploring and using.  Again, BYOD prepares kids for the real world. How can we, in good conscience, NOT teach kids how to use internet tools? (MWH)

7 Tips to Make a BYOD Policy Safe

9. Schools don't have to maintain student technology and students learn to independently find and work with tech support sources. (JKW) 
Students have to learn how to maintain their own devices or how to receive tech support from outside sources. This both encourages students to be independent problem-solves and takes the burden off of school IT staff. 

1. BYOD would highlight inequities among students and their socioeconomic status. (MPS)  Low socioeconomic status students might not own a device to bring, or may bring a device that is not deemed "adequate" by the teacher or school.


2. School IT teams would have difficulties keeping up with the diverse and "multitudinous" devices. (MPS)

3. Having a wide variety of heterogeneous devices would make it difficult to ensure all students had access to school-related applications and software. (MPS)

 4. a. The concept of 'BYOD" would  make it difficult for teachers to deveop lessons that would be able to be utilized via apps/software between the weakest devices to the more advanced devices. (MMH)

b. Personal Opinon: This could create a technology hierarchy in the classroom between the 'haves' and 'almost haves' And, of course there is that piece that some students may not have access to personal devices at all.  So this could negate the option for student collaboration and create student wars instead.  (MMH)

5. Classroom Management (ABC)   I think 'BYOD' would make it difficult to monitor and manage what students could access during school hours.  For example, inappropriate websites, social networks, tweets during class.  Classroom management may be a bit more difficult with various devices and the ability to access certain programs, tools, etc. may differ among the students as well. 

6.  Costly. (ABC) With having BYOD at a school, new capabilities are gained, but at what price? BYOD may be an economical way to adopt hardware, but there will be additional cost in network capacity, teacher training, and managing lost, stolen, or damaged student property. 

Source:   -media critic Neil Postman’s essay “Five Things We Need to Know About Technological Change.”

7.  Just as much as BYOD could help to create a 'student-centric" classroom environment, it could also become a haven for cyberbullying in the classroom or other negative and/or potentially criminal electronic behaviors right under the teachers nose. There must be school policy in place to protect against this potential harm or students could get away with........under the protection of the Fourth Amendment, " According to New Jersey v. T.L.O (1985) students are protected by the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution which protects citizens against unreasonable searches and seizures. In T.L.O., the Supreme Court goes on to say that the standard that law enforcement officers must reach to conduct a search (probable cause that a crime has been committed), is not required of educators. In general, the standard applied to school officials is whether the search is “justified at its inception and reasonable in scope.” Of course there is a bit of subjectivity to this standard and what appears to be reasonable for one person may not be for another." Retrieved from: 

 Therefore, with no clear way to truly manage students use of devices in a BYOD environment, it may be best to be 'student-centric' with school issued and managed devices. Students can even stretch their social media wings via well managed  programs like Edmodo. (MMH)