BYOD: Is It Right For You?

BYOD: Is It Right For You?

 Is Bring Your Own Device, or BYOD, really the best way to provide more students access to technology in the classroom? I’ve been asked that question a lot lately and it will be the focus of one of my technology sessions at the Model Schools Conference in Orlando, FL this June.

I’m amazed by the rapidly growing number of districts and schools requesting technology integration workshops for teachers and school leaders. Almost always, these requests result from their growing understanding of the technology integration expectations for instruction in the new Common Core or College and Career Standards.

I find the more states, districts, and schools know about their new standards, the better they understand exactly how large a technology gap they have in their classrooms. Suddenly it seems, everyone wants to talk about how to integrate technology into instruction.

BYOD comes up early and often as schools and districts try to solve the many problems of providing access. Effective BYOD policies allow students to bring their own devices, such as tablets, netbooks, computers and, yes… smart phones, to school for classroom use.

However, I’ve learned from my work across the country that BYOD policies vary widely from school to school, even within the same district. To date, there simply are no uniform standards in place.

That is not stopping many schools from moving forward. These schools have found that by allowing students to use their own devices in the classroom, they can quickly increase student engagement and teachers are able to provide more relevant, technology-infused lessons, lessons that are often more connected to real-world projects and problems.

I advise schools and districts to think carefully about their current capabilities and objectives before moving forward. And it’s certainly possible to learn a great deal from the experience of those early adopters among us.

Click on this link,  BYOD Resources to find a sample of the many links to ideas, policies, resources, successes and failures you may find helpful.

About Jim Warford

Jim Warford is Senior Advisor and Keynote Speaker, International Center for Leadership in Education. Jim is an author, speaker, Leadership and Instructional Coach. He was named in March 2003 as Florida’s first Chancellor of K12 Public Schools. He stepped down in September, 2005 to become Executive Director of the Florida Association of School Administrators, representing over 10,000 Florida school leaders. As a Senior Advisor for the International Center for Leadership in Education, he works with states, districts and schools to provide coaching and executive training and support to school leaders and their staffs. As Florida’s Chancellor, he led the creation and state-wide implementation of Florida’s Continuous Improvement Model, FCIM, which resulted in that state’s dramatic gains in student achievement and an 80% reduction in the number low-performing schools. FCIM remains Florida’s required intervention for all low-performing schools. As Superintendent of the Marion County, Florida Public Schools, he first implemented the Continuous Improvement Model district-wide. As a result, school grades went from three “F”, eight “D” and only one “A” school in 1999 to twenty “A”, 16 “B” and no “F” schools in 2003. Under his leadership the high school dropout rate was cut in half. Jim Warford is the author of, The Chemistry of culture: Strategies You Can Use to Create a Culture of Learning. He has taught applied technology courses at the high school level for 17 years and created a Computer Graphics/Video Production program that won many national and state awards. He was named Vanguard High School Teacher of the Year three separate times.
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