BYOT: An idea whose time has come

Devices

Technology becomes more embedded in all aspects of society. As a father, I see this firsthand with my first-grader son. The gift he wanted the most this past Christmas was an iPod Touch, which Santa was kind enough to bring him. Then there is his younger sister, who will regularly ask to use my iPad so she can care for her virtual horse or dress Barbies in creative ways.

As I download all of the apps, the majority of their time is spent engaged in games that can require thought, creativity and collaboration. My point here is that many children are accessing technology outside of school in a variety of ways. Many older children also possess their own devices (cellphones, smartphones, laptops, tablets, e-readers, etc.).

As society continues to advance in innovation, technology and global connectivity, schools have been stymied by relentless budget cuts. This has resulted in reduced staff, larger class sizes, lack of follow-through on repairing aging buildings and failing to keep up with purchasing and replacing educational technology. It is essential that we rectify all of the above, but technology is often perceived as the least important to invest precious funds into. This is why the time is now for districts and schools to seriously consider developing a bring-your-own-technology (BYOT) initiative.

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