Personal mobile devices at school: making it work!

It is more and more common for students to bring their smartphones or similar devices to school. The first reaction is sometimes to ban them. In other cases, we take the opportunity to turn them into learning tools. If you are in the second case, how do you manage it all?

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It is more and more common for students to bring their smartphones or similar devices to school. Sometimes the first reaction is to forbid them. In other cases, we take the opportunity to make learning tools. If you are in the second case, how do you manage it all?

In English, we say "BYOD" for "Bring Your Own Device". In some quarters, it is generally accepted that students bring their mobile device to school as it helps reduce the costs of educational projects that require their use. In addition, since the student is already familiar with his device, the technological learning curve is thus reduced.

However, several challenges arise at the same time, as much for teachers as for technicians and management:
- What if some students do not have a smartphone, iPod Touch or laptop?
- How to ensure that the devices are used only for educational purposes by the pupils?
- How to ensure easy access to the network while maintaining a good level of security?
- How to manage parents' apprehensions?

The American publication eSchool News devoted an article about lately. We talk to technology managers from certain school districts to see how things are going on their side.

For example, in Forsyth County Schools (approximately 36,000 students), Georgia, the “BYOD” initiative won over all 5 high schools, even though they were not required to participate. They voluntarily changed their technology use policy to let students bring and use their personal devices.

“At first it was a bit chaotic, but we expected it. »Following a lot of experience sharing and adjustments, we continue the experience for a 4e year, knowing that not all classes follow the wave. Moreover, it is important not to impose this direction.

On the discipline side, the directorates manage cases when they arise, even if they decrease from year to year. On the technical side, a parallel network has been set up for personal devices.

Interestingly, we have seen an increase in the use of computers already present in schools since in some cases they are more suitable than small devices for educational purposes. A great way to show that the accessibility of devices encourages their use in educational projects, and that the more technology is used, the more possible applications there are.

If you are interested in the subject, you can find out more by reading the article " How to make BYOD work for your schools ".

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About the Author

Audrey Miller
Audrey Miller
General manager of École branchée, Audrey holds a graduate degree in educational technologies and a bachelor's degree in public communication. Member of the Order of Excellence in Education of Quebec, she is particularly interested in the professional development of teachers, information in the digital age and media education, while actively creating bridges between the actors of the educational ecosystem since 1999. She is involved these days in particular in Edteq Association and as a member of the ACELF Communications Committee. When she has free time, she is passionate about her children, his rabbits, horses, good wine and... Web programming!

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