Tuesday, June 7, 2011

BYOD to School?

No, I said BYO "D" as in Bring Your Own Device to school. This is a huge area of growth and uncertainty for schools across the nation. Also know as BYOL or BYOT (for laptop or technology), these types of programs are just what they sound like, students are allowed to bring their own laptops, net books, iPod Touches, etc. to school and connect to the schools Internet connection as a guest.

This is a shift in paradigms. Gone are the days of checking out a computer lab. All students would have their own laptops. Gone are the days of students saving to their network accounts. All students save their work to the cloud where it can be accessed at home, school, or anywhere with a wireless connection. Gone are the days of printing assignments. All students can hand-in assignments to digital drop boxes, E-mail them as attachments, or post them to a Wiki. Students at Sparta High School can collaborate, search, create, analyze, share, and publish on the Web from the classroom, lunchroom, livingroom, wherever they are connected. Students can greener. Students can be more productive. Students can do it all on the Web.

Forest Hills Local Schools, located near Cincinnati  is one of the schools piloting this type of program. They went to a BYOL program at their middle school last fall and it has been a huge success. Visit their resource site for a ton of info. I would love to do a program like this at my high school. Think about it. If just 30% of students chose to bring a laptop of their own to school with them, the school would automatically have around 300 more computers available. By the way, that is like 10 computer labs worth of computers.
Programs like this are the wave of the future. Think back to graphing calculators. Teachers used to have a classroom set to use with their students. Now days, most students buy their own and bring it to school to use. The same thing will happen with laptops. The future is now and we need to embrace it.

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