BYOD comes to Leesville

Teachers and Students already use technology in classrooms daily, but BYOD would make it easier for more students to utilize use of technology. Mary Petersen, and fellow peers use the computer lab to work on English assignments, but with BYOD they will be able to work in their classrooms without having to relocate. (Photo courtesy McKenna Daley)Teachers and Students already use technology in classrooms daily, but BYOD would make it easier for more students to utilize use of technology. Mary Petersen, and fellow peers use the computer lab to work on English assignments, but with BYOD they will be able to work in their classrooms without having to relocate. (Photo courtesy McKenna Daley)

The Bring Your Own Device initiative is coming to Leesville in the 2016-2017 school year. This program allows for students to bring their own smart devices to use in the classroom.

The Bring Your Own Device program, also known as BYOD, is a rapidly growing trend in schools all across the nation. The initiative simply helps to integrate a student’s smart device in the classroom. The devices allowed include smartphones, Ipads, Ipod Touches, and any tablet.

When asked about the BYOD program, Mr.Martin, the tech specialist at LRHS said, “ I think it’s exciting for students ‘cause you get to bring your device and actually use it without getting in trouble.”

While Ms.Daley, a teacher with extensive knowledge about BYOD from Hilburn Academy, said “I have mixed thoughts about it; I can see good and bad to either way…I can definitely see a lot of advantages for the students, but then I also feel it’s going to be very hard to monitor students use of the device.”

There are several advantages and disadvantages of the BYOD initiative. Advantages include the integration of technology into classrooms and the school’s ability to spend money in other areas rather than technology for the students.

When asked about the advantages of BYOD, Kellise Freeman, a LRHS sophomore who regularly uses technology, said, “I think because I use my phone everyday it will help me focus more because of the fact it’s on my phone and I know how to work it better.”

While  Martin said, “On the plus side for teachers, we simply don’t have enough digital devices for students that give us access to the internet, and in Wake County I doubt we ever will, so it kinda helps fill that need to have more devices.”

Ms.Daley brought up several points that are very concerning regarding BYOD. Daley said, “I also feel it’s going to be very hard to monitor students use of the device; will they actually be on the sites they are supposed to be on or are they texting or on instagram doing things that they’re not supposed to be doing in school?”

Although the county is able to monitor the sites the students have access to by blocking inappropriate ones, if the teacher turns their back to a student, the child could easily switch to doing something besides the assignment. Another major concern is that not all students will be able to provide a smart device for themselves.

Freeman said, “I think there should be a way for them [people who don’t have a device] to get a device, like the media center or computers in the classroom so no one feels left out.”

Mr.Martin, the tech specialist at Leesville, addressed the problem saying “The hope is that we as a school are actually about to get a whole lot of laptops that will go out into classrooms for students without devices…we’re hoping to reach a point of equity where access is available for most people when they need it in class.”

The introduction of the BYOD program into Wake County schools also brings up the question of how will it affect learning. One positive way it will affect learning is by helping students adjust to the bell schedule. Ms.Daley said “our special ed students, need some assistance with class transitions and scheduling. A class I came into talked about how they could take pictures of their schedules, set alarms on their device to give them warnings for transitions, and set reminders for things.”Due to BYOD, special ed students have the opportunity to use their devices to positively impact their learning. One way the program could negatively affect learning is by letting students get easily distracted from the lesson or assignment they are supposed to be working on. Martin Said “For teachers, we like our students paying attention and doing what we want them to do and you know it’s very easy to get distracted by by that text message coming in, in the middle of class.” The BYOD initiative could affect learning it positive and negative ways.

Overall the Bring Your Own Device initiative will continue integrating more technology into schools. Students not only will be able to use their device during school hours without getting in trouble, but are encouraged to bring their devices with BYOD.

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