Quillen, P. (2010) Schools Open Doors to Students' Mobile Devices. Education Week. http://www.edweek.org/dd/articles/2010/10/20/01mobile.h04.html
This article reports on US schools that are changing their policies to allow students to bring their own mobile devices to school. There is a feeling that such discussions are taking place in most if not all US school districts. However there is also a need to explain how these policy changes will take learning forward.
At Oak Hills (Cincinnati) the expectation was not that every student should own their own cell phone, rather that enough would to enable the district to supply the rest.
St Mary's school (Ohio) sees mobile devices as not only having educational use, but also as a means of teaching students to be responsible users of technology.
Educating parents is a key step in implementing a mobile policy. It is important to spend time answering questions and concerns and helping them understand why the school is doing this.
Professor Chris Dede of Harvard Graduate School of Education says that professional development and in-class trial-and-error will be needed. Tech enthusiasts treat each new development as magic despite a long history that shows there is no such thing. Dede also points to reservations among teachers regarding the danger of in-class sexting or cheating.
Tips for changing a technology policy:
1. Know why you're doing it. For learning? To curb indiscipline?
2. Involve parents and the community
3. Involve teachers
4. Research the extent of use among students, especially if moving to 1: 1 computing
5. Prepare in advance for professional development