The Bring Your Own Device Debate

My vice-principal, the administrator in charge of technology for my secondary school of 1450 students and 85 staff, warned me this week that the board has no intention of renewing our desktop computers.  At best, I think they’ll last about 3 more years.  So then what?  Well in the library, we’re moving quickly to Web 2.0 tools and cloud computing, but there are some courses in the school who rely heavily on the software on the school image.  We have pockets of cowboys all over the system buying the latest tablet, or a whole netbook station, but really what’s the most manageable and equitable way to handle student and staff needs for technology?  Bring your own device (BYOD).

Shelly Blake-Lock (@teachpaperless) brings up a new point of view in his blog this month.  Of course one tool is not going to work for everyone for every purpose.  This is what Blake-Lock argues is the crux of reasoning behind BYOD.  If we are truly going to promote metacognition and autonomy in learning, then we need to allow for differentiation in technology.

I can’t wait to hear what you think of this philosophy.  How many different devices do you use in a day?  I use my PC for schoolwork at home, my laptop at school, my Blackberry on the go.  Imagine if we tried to purchase and maintain 1 device to suit everyone?

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  1. I got the same message recently but our next step looks like netbook labs for more classrooms and maybe and library kitchen/production centre for me in the library!


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