At New Milford High School we have begun to leverage technology that many students possess. This has led to a Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) initiative, where students are encouraged to bring in their mobile learning devices, which include cell phones or personal computing devices (laptops, tablets, iPod Touches, eReaders, etc). Students that bring their own computing devices have the ability to connect to our secure wireless network. Check out the recent story CBS New York did on our initiative below.
We highly value equity in terms of access to technology. In the case of mobile learning devices (cell phones), if a student does not have a device my teachers have been instructed to pair or group them when using polling sites like Poll Everywhere or conducting research. Students that bring their own computing device primarily use them in the cafeteria during their 48 minute lunch to conduct research, work on homework/projects, or for organization. It is at the teachers' discretion whether or not to allow a student to use their personal computing device in class. Many times students that have brought their own devices will us them in lieu of school-provided options (laptop carts, computer labs).
The mobile learning revolution is upon us. Isn't it time schools and some educators stop making excuses not to move forward and leverage the technology that our students already possess? How mobile learning devices are adopted in each school will vary as there is no one-size-fits-all approach due to the uniqueness of communities. If you have pondered or are against BYOT at least engage your students, teachers, administrators, and other stakeholders in a conversation to elicit their thoughts. If you do I am willing to wager that you will take advantage of mobile learning devices as well.