Friday, February 10, 2012

Distraction 2 Reaction: BYOT (BYOD) Success!

Notes from TCEA 2012 Presentation by Eanes ISD Tech Group and Carl Hooker, Director of Instructional Technology, Eanes ISD

Presentation posted at:

Research Behind BYOT

2011 Horizon Report K12 Edition - Published every year. Compilation of research by respected educational technologists across the nation. Publicizes key trends and challenges and predictions for adoption educational technology. Key trends from 2011:

  • People expect anytime anywhere access
  • Resources becoming more cloud based
  • Abundance of resources make it more challenging for us to function in the role of educator as we know it.
  • Support of the technologies we use are becoming more cloud based than server based.


  • Current tech practices in schools do not support the demand for personalized learning.
  • Digital media literacy continues to rise in importance as a key skill in every discipline and profession.
  • Many activities related to learning and education take place outside walls of classroom.

Mobile devices are predicted by 2011 Horizon report to be in mainstream in one year or less.

Fun Stat: Teens text on average 3339 per month. People over 65 average 32 text messages per month. - Resource used during the presentation. Allows teacher to push questions out to students regardless of device as long as they have web access. Can be teacher paced or student paced. Shows live results. Also emails results to teacher.

Research shows 60% of low-income students carry a mobile device of some sort.

Look for awesome infographic in the Prezi (linked at the top of this post) about how people use their mobile devices based on age range.

90% of people in the U.S. have a mobile phone. Approx 5.9 billion people worldwide will have mobile phones by 2013. 1/3 of all mobile users owned a mart phone in 2010. 73% of children have books in their home. 80+% have mobile phones. (See infographics in Prezi).

By 2014 mobile internet should TAKE OVER desktop internet use. By 2014, mobile will be the DOMINANT source for the internet SURPASSING laptops & desktops.

We used to hear about the digital divide. Now we have an "App Gap". This is important to think about because teachers must teach to the lowest common denominator of tech in the classroom.

Horizon Report predicts that concerns over BYOT will be outweighed by the advantages.

Concerns About/Challenges With BYOT 

  • The kids will cheat! (Like they've never done that before...) One participant in the session noted it's easier to catch kids cheating digitally because the evidence is on the device.
  • Instructional time can be lost while figuring out how to get multiple types of devices connected to the same resource
  • Online testing not compatible with all devices (ex: iPad)

Eanes ISD will post a copy of their BYOT policies to their website along with the presentation link. It includes usage guidelines and possible consequences. Teachers found there were FEWER discipline problems because devices were out on the desk out in the open instead of having "sneaky use" under the desk.

AWESOME IDEA: Students at the elementary level had to apply to BYOT, indicating how they would use the device for learning. Kids were issued a BYOT sticker or license. They had to be able to produce this for anyone who asked since the kids carried their devices around the school.

Other Questions to Consider: 

  • Kind of phone a kid owns is often a sign of social status. 
  • Equity issues. (Eanes had iPods and laptop carts in place for students without devices at school. Parents at elementary were assured students would have technology provided to them when needed. Do not let this concern hold you back...
  • Filters (because kids could use their 3G/4G to access Internet. Be sure to address this in your policy. Some districts are renaming AUPs to RUP (Required Use Policy). Also, best filter is a teacher who is moving around the room staying involved with students.
  • At what age do you start BYOT?
When teachers want students to BYOT, there are preliminary conversations about how those teachers want students to be able to use those devices. If you have tech vision committees, include students on the committee.

Remember to educate your community about BYOT, too!

Educational Uses of BYOT

Poll Everywhere - Free. Students can answer questions via text message.
eClicker - Teacher app is $4.99 through volume purchasing. Send out questions to class.
Toontastic - app that allows students to create and narrate stories
Sock Puppets - app that allows students to move virtual sock puppets and record your voice talking for the puppet. Puppets play back in a squeaky voice.
Puppet Pals - another puppet app
QR Codes - Students scan them to download assignments and presentations or go to websites.
Songify - read or speak into the app; app changes it into a song

Titan Pad - a way to collaborate on a document without using Google docs. Limited to 6 collaborators at a time.