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Experts Share How U.S. Schools Are Managing Mobile Learning

Experts Share How U.S. Schools Are Managing Mobile Learning

Mobile learning has become a common trend in schools across the country, but do schools know how to manage it?

Districts supporting BYOD (bring your own device) in the classroom, “can manage students’ instructional software through virtual containers and clouds while relying on MDM software to manage security,” said Katie Kilfoyle Remis, writer for DistrictAdministration.com.

“Whatever strategy a district chooses, the end goal is to take device management out of the hands of teachers and students, so they can focus on learning,” said Remis. Remis mentions one school in Washington, Ilwaco Middle School, that chose a package that “not only gives them MDM software, but also tablets loaded with instructional content.”

Remis said the district “wanted the interactivity of a tablet, but iPads were too expensive. BYOD was not an option for the district where about 70 percent of students receive a free or reduced-price lunch.”

“Bring your own technology sounds wonderful, but it creates issues of equity,” said Ilwaco Principal Marc Simmons. “You have kids thinking, ‘My tablet isn’t as good’ as someone else’s. We want to increase equity through technology. It makes us all feel like we are on the same page.” When it comes to schools managing school-owned iPads, Remis suggests the method of Cherry Hills Christian School in Colorado. The school, Remis said, “combined an MDM solution with district-owned iPads.”

“Every one of its 700 students in grades 1 through 8 is assigned an iPad while its 60 kindergarten students use the tablets in the private school’s computer center,” she said.

Cherry Hills, the article said, “attempted a BYOD program with student-owned iPads by establishing requirements—like 16 gigabytes of memory so that the devices could support the classroom software. Still, students were using iPads with varying degrees of memory and processing speeds.”

“The mix of devices got in the way of learning,” said Mike Scheid, Cherry Hill’s technology manager. “There are more things we can do with a device we own versus what we don’t own. We can customize every piece of district-owned devices.”

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Article by Kassondra Granata, Education World Contributor

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