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So I just read a blog post by Tom Vander Ark titled 6 Reasons EdLeaders Should Let Students BYOD.  (

This brought a few interesting thoughts to my head – beginning with the question ‘Why would we not allow BYOD?’

Reasons for not allowing BYOD typically include:

* Student use creates/enables distraction

* Student devices may not meet with security/virus protection

* BYOD separates the have’s from the have not’s

* Use of their technology will just slow down the process in my classroom rather than enhance it

Mr. Vander Ark brings up some wonderful points about why we need to be allowing BYOD to happen – let’s face it, the technology is not going away.  My belief has always been we have a responsibility to teach students how to properly and responsibly use technology.  Additionally, we might actually learn from the students some of the great things the devices in our hands can do for us.

National technology standards that are a part of No Child Left Behind incorporate 6 primary standards (as documented by ISTE)

1.  Basic Operations and Concepts

2. Social, ethical, and human issues

3.  Technology productivity tools

4. Technology communication tools

5. Technology research tools

6. Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools

These standards give great opportunities for educational leaders to support the use of student technology in classrooms.

*Have students use their cell phones to text answers to survey questions (great use of Assessment for Learning in your classroom) through Google tools

*Have students use their cell phone cameras to capture an image in the building to later be used as their own writing prompt.

*Have students create a facebook page for a character in a book their are reading in class.

*Have students use the new feature on facebook to create a study group

*Have students download the My Big Campus app on their smart phone to collaborate with their peers

*Have students focus their use of camera apps to develop a portfolio of their own work and post it on their social media pages

*Build relationships with your students through fun games such as Words with Friends, Scrabble, and Hangman (great for vocabulary building)

all of these ideas listed above are currently happening at Rock Springs High School – in isolated areas, but they are happening…

my point is – the technology in the palms of our students hand is infinitely more powerful than the technology sitting on the desk of the computer lab when we were high school students – do not push it away or say “I will find a place to fit it in someday” then revert back to the same old lessons – meet our digital natives where they are, glued to their smart phones and iPods…you will be amazed at what they can do and what you can learn from them…


yours in education

Darrin Peppard

Principal – Rock Springs High School

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