Survey Says: Bring Your Own Device to Middle Schools
New survey finds that more middle school students are using mobile devices for homework
The concept of BYOD, or “Bring Your Own Device,” which permits students to use their mobile devices in school, has been both a popular and controversial topic in recent discussions on 21st century learning. Many tech-savvy educators hail BYOD as a cost-effective solution to limited classroom technology, while others fear it may bring rise to in-class disruptions and digital safety concerns. Regardless of where you stand on BYOD, I think you’ll be interested in the findings of a recent survey on middle school students’ use of mobile technology.
The survey, which was commissioned by the Verizon Foundation, found that an unexpectedly high number of middle school students (from different ethnicities and incomes) are using mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, to do their homework. Interestingly enough, students said that using mobile devices like tablets makes them want to learn more.
- More than one out of three middle school students report they are using smartphones (39 percent) and tablets (31 percent) to do homework.
- Hispanic and African American middle school students are using smartphones for homework more than Caucasian students.
- Despite the high numbers of students using laptops, smartphones, and tablets for homework, very few are using these mobile devices in the classroom, particularly tablets and smartphones.
(View the full results of the survey here.)
A Significant Opportunity?
The survey concludes that “a significant opportunity appears to exist for middle schools to more deeply engage students by increasing their use of mobile devices in the classroom.” There are a lot of strong arguments for mobile technology in the classroom, but pros and cons of BYOD do exist. However, I think it’s fair to reason that if students are using smartphones and tablets to do their work at home, they should be given the opportunity to use these devices in school.
When I was at FETC, I had the pleasure of meeting a few educators who have successfully implemented a BYOD or BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) policy, including JD Ferries-Rowe. (You can see what BYOT looks like at his school here.) I think that those educators would agree that you have to embrace mobile technology if you want to transition into 21st century learning. But I think they would also agree that it’s not a policy to be undertaken lightly. This article provides some really sound advice on how to plan and execute a BYOD policy. I’ve also listed a few lesson plans that utilize mobile devices to effectively engage students. Hopefully, these lessons will give you a better idea of how mobile devices in a BYOD setting can benefit your instruction.
Mobile Technology Less Plans From Our Community:
Do you let your students use mobile devices in your classroom? What are your thoughts on BYOD? Start a conversation in the comments section!