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Monday, July 17, 2017

The BYOD Approach Comes of Age

While quite a few K-12 school districts now have 1:1 programs to provide a Chromebook or other digital device to every student for classwork, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) or Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) programs have found favor in many other districts for combining that same sort of access with lower expenditures and fewer technical hassles.

Initial concerns that students would use their devices to play games, watch cat videos, or access social media during school have been dispelled by strict use policies, detailed communication with parents and families, and efforts to instruct children on responsible behavior both online and in the classroom.

Although there is usually flexibility to allow students to use a device with which they’re most comfortable, in some districts smartphones are not among the permitted devices. The preference is for something with a screen large enough for students to write and create diagrams. If a child doesn’t have an appropriate device of their own—or doesn’t want to bring it to school—they may be given access to a district-supplied Chromebook or tablet.

“We recognize that students are living in a digital age, and BYOD helps students establish the foundations of digital citizenship,” Superintendent Robert Shaps, of Mamaroneck Union Free School District, Westchester County, NY, told the Associated Press.

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