When Will You Be Ready?

In the past few weeks, I’ve been talking with and listening to many of our tech trainers and others in the middle and high schools around here about BYOD, the program that allows students to bring their own devices to use for instruction.

And one of the phrases most frequently used by those in the high schools to justify their slow adoption rate is that “we’re just not ready”. Not ready for whatever evil they think will come from students being able to communicate without direct supervision.

Very frustrating! I suspect many of the adults involved, especially administrators, will never be ready. They just don’t seem to be prepared to release even a little bit of control to the kids.

On the positive side, I’m very proud that many of our middle schools (and a few elementary) are taking some risks and have been rapidly implementing the idea during this school year.  Very soon I suspect, those kids moving up into the high schools will force a change in the attitudes.

At least I hope so. I don’t see many signs of the shift coming from the adults.

Comments

  1. Dave says

    This is probably my #1 thought on 1:1 and BYOD! There are a lot of obstacles to a well-planned rollout of either: power outlets in classrooms for charging? adequate wifi? increase to district’s bandwidth to the Internet? lost/stolen/damaged machines? fragmentation? support? teacher training?

    The problems with those problems are that 1) the best solutions won’t be developed until there is demand 2) in the meantime, we’re doing a major disservice to students who aren’t learning these tech skills as well as they could.

    We have to move forward with 1:1: BYOD, cloud alternatives to client-side programs, etc whenever we can. It’s always going to take a long time to roll this boulder up the hill, but the sooner we start, the sooner we can reap the benefits.

  2. Allan Bletsin says

    Were you a grocer in a previous career? I ask because you are comparing apples to oranges.

    Wouldn’t that be great if all of the students were as innocent as those in elementary & middle school?

    The reality is that veteran high school administrators and tech teams have spent years having to deal daily with the aftermath of inappropriate use of technology by students. Trying to figure out and document this behavior is very time consuming and contrary to popular belief not simply a central office duty.

    VJaying with videos of students acting inappropriately in the school halls or community set to music and posted on Youtube, vulgar emails sent to administrators or teachers, multiplayer video games being played on school servers, videotaping student fights for posting on Youtube, students inappropriately accessing teacher online classroom portals, online bullying, sexting, etc.

    The first people contacted are the tech trainers and hardware techs in almost all of these issues.

    It is already difficult to identify the culprit when they do something inappropriate on a school machine which has its location and users recorded.

    It is almost impossible to track a person down on a personal BYOD unless there is a threat requiring central office DIT assistance and law enforcement.

    Last point. The typical elementary school in North America has around 500 students, 350 pcs, and 5o staff, typical middle school has 900 students, 1, 200 pcs, and 80 staff wheras the typical high school has 1,500 students, 1800 pcs, and 200 staff. Assuming that each student has 3 BYOD with a MAC address (network ID) from laptop to iPhone to iPad to handheld video games…Maybe with 2 trainers and 2 hardware techs per location, the high schools would be eager to jump higher and faster.

    What happened to all of the research that demonstrated 2 students working on a computer enabled collaboration which resulted in more retention than direct instruction?

    If school systems are so eager for 1 to 1 ratio, break out the checkbook and issue every student a laptop or pad.

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