Schools now encouraging students to bring smartphones to class
For years, teachers and school administrators have been asking students to put away their phones during class. But now that technology is such a big part of the classroom, some schools are doing the opposite, encouraging students to bring their own smartphones, tablets and laptops to school for "BYOT" – bring your own technology – learning.
An article in the New York Times last week detailed this trend. Many schools in the U.S. are incorporating technology into their curriculums, using applications and tablets to help students get excited about learning as well as use the tools they will be using in the future. But some schools have a harder time affording this technology, and instead, are asking students to bring in their own devices to avoid falling into a technology gap.
"Volusia [School District] officials say that they realized they should take advantage of, rather than fight, students' deep connections with their devices," the article said. "At the same time, the district found that the cost of providing and maintaining computers for students was becoming prohibitive."
With more technology in the classroom, students can take their schoolwork home and use applications and technology that other schools – perhaps those with more money – are using.
Of course, this also means teachers must be more careful that students are texting or otherwise surfing the web when they shouldn't be. But as this trend catches on, educators are learning how to avoid this as well.
The article also noted that even in low-income areas, generally the schools utilizing BYOT, most students had access to a smartphone or tablet, and the school could help those that didn't, especially since a few tablets is different than a whole classroom.
With BYOT, more schools, and a wider range of schools, may soon begin using digital documents for lessons. In order to do this, though, document scanning companies can efficiently turn the many papers electronic – ensuring that no school gets left behind in the move to a technology-filled classroom.
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