Many school districts are now telling students to bring your own device to school. The policy, known as BYOD, has generated some controversy, but appears to be gaining in popularity. Proponents say that it saves money, reduces technical problems and expenditures, and expands educational opportunities.
“Initially, some parents and teachers were afraid the kids would be playing Mario Kart and other games in school. But we had a lot of meetings with parents before adopting the program, and that was very important. We really took the time to address community concerns early on,” says Mike Cicchetti, coordinator for learning technologies in the Volusia County School District in Central Florida.
“We started by trying it in a few schools in the district. And it was so popular that we now have it in every single school. It really opened up the world to teachers and students, allowing them to move away from worksheets and give them more interactive options,” Cicchetti said.
Many districts that promote BYOD put strict limitations on what can be done in school, and also on what devices are permitted. Some also offer Chromebooks to those who do not have devices to bring to school.