Feb 14, 2015
This past week I had the opportunity to do an interview about our Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program at our school. After explaining how it started, the interviewer asked me “THE QUESTION”
“WHAT IF THE STUDENTS ARE DOING SOMETHING OTHER THAN ‘WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO DO’ ON THEIR DEVICES?”
Image via iamgarcade.com
I respected the interviewer and this was actually a case where I was on camera…so I gathered myself; very professionally and politely I replied with:
“Not only could that happen, that will happen; So what?” I then went into what I’m sure was an overly tedious explanation of the value of placing trust in our students, teaching them the appropriate use of devices, and engaging students in our classrooms so they want to be involved in learning which will at times include using their devices.
This interview made me think…WoW…we have changed in the past three years in our school! When I came to my school in July of 2011 we were what I call a complete “lock-down” school…no cell phones, no technology brought in of any kind (students couldn’t even have music with headphones at lunch). As principal, if I even saw a student with a cell phone district policy required me to confiscate it and suspend the student immediately. We were also a failing school; we were on year two school improvement for both Mathematics & Literacy.
FAST-FORWARD Three Years:
We now have a thriving Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Students listen to music, use cell phones on campus, and we teach about digital literacy and the importance of good digital citizenship weekly in our student advisory program. We use student-led professional development to educate our staff on social media and are intentional in understanding the importance of this medium to this generation of students’ lives. These are just a few of the changes that have occurred at our school in the past three years…
ANOTHER BIG CHANGE:
We are off school improvement & are now a TOP 10% SCHOOL IN ARKANSAS!