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City Schools Train Teachers for 'Bring Your Own Device' Implementation

City Schools Train Teachers for 'Bring Your Own Device' Implementation

Last March, New York City public schools lifted a ban on cell phones in the classroom and are now looking for innovative ways to use them in day-to-day learning.

As a result, the Department of Education (DOE) is holding a series of training sessions for the city's teachers to implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs in their classroom. BYOD is a growing trend where students bring in their personal electronic to the classroom for supplementary use for learning.

"It’s part of a national trend of bringing student devices into classrooms. According to a study published by Amplify, a company that creates digital tools for schools, 29 percent of school districts encouraged BYOD in 2014, and another 20 percent had a BYOD program in development," said The Hechinger Report.

DOE training sessions for teachers teach them how to use apps and programs across multiple devices to be able to successfully implement a BYOD initiative in their classroom.

"Lisa Nielsen, the director of digital engagement and professional development for the DOE, said the goal is to give teachers a broad introduction, and then provide follow-up support as the teachers figure out what works in their own classrooms," the article said.

BYOD initiatives are favored by many school districts because many cannot afford to provide every student with a device to use, although some say the initiative can be unfair because many students cannot afford a device at home and are put at a disadvantage when using different devices in the classroom.

Tim Clark, the director of learning innovation at SAFARI Montage, a company that produces instructional technology, told the Hechinger Report "one of the main benefits of BYOD is that it allows a consistency between schoolwork and homework — students can save their material onto their devices and continue the work at home."

For students who don't have a device at home, continuing the work can be a problem.

Another issue with BYOD initiatives is the need for districts to adjust behavior policies with the increased technology use. In order to have a successful BYOD program, districts must update its "'acceptable use' policies — the disciplinary codes that govern how technology can be used in schools," the article said.

These acceptable use policies are needed to remind students of what is considered appropriate, responsible, and on-task use of technology in the classroom.

But Clark thinks this isn't such a hard feat. “'Just like in a face-to-face classroom without technology, you are going to have students who are distracted and off task...A lot of teachers think it will be worse with technology, but it usually isn’t. Once teachers I work with get past that initial hurdle, they realize having devices out is more normal than they expect,'" he said, according to the article.

Read the full article here and comment below.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

07/15/2015

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