A practice that was once frowned upon, many schools are now encouraging students to bring their own tablets, smartphones and notebook computers into the classroom to improve student learning opportunities. With the rise of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, many parents are wondering how they can ensure their child has the most appropriate technology to help them succeed. The upcoming holiday season is a great opportunity to find the right device for your child.
If your student has the opportunity to participate in a BYOD program this year, you may have questions about the program and how you can ensure your child is as successful as possible. Read on to learn more about BYOD and what you can do to support your child’s learning in the digital world.
• What is a BYOD program? BYOD’s core appeal is that it enables schools to have personalized, one-to-one learning programs with greater student engagement and accountability, while allowing students and parents the freedom to choose the device that best meets their child’s individual needs.
• What device should I get for my child? Unlike school clothes, if you choose to invest a little more in a device, you won’t have to replace it next fall. For example, a Notebook/convertible UltraBook or 2 in 1 device with an Intel core processor and Windows 8 operating system grows with students as their learning needs evolve - it’s an investment your child can benefit from for many years. A 2 in 1 device allows your child to switch between a tablet and laptop, depending on their needs for the school project at hand. These devices weigh less than 4 pounds, so they won’t overload your child’s backpack. They also have the battery strength to keep going strong until the final bell.
Your child might also enjoy a device that allows her to draw, write, highlight, annotate and more on her digital touchscreens in a natural manner. Intel-powered Windows 8 tablets come with a new generation of "pens," which engage students in learning and allow educators to maximize the versatility and benefits of the technology they’re already using.
Another device option is a Chromebook, which can provide your child with a full Internet browsing experience at a lower cost. Although Chromebooks are limited in the types of applications and software they can run, they allow students to do real time collaboration and share their work with the world on the Web. They also have the flexibility to be personalized by each student or teacher.
• How can I help my child succeed? Now that your child has the right device for learning, you can help them use the technology effectively by giving them access to high quality educational resources. For example, the National Tech Goes Home website offers guidance and support for your child’s studying, including free resources to help students learn and play safely online, and it has helpful information for parents.
• What if my school doesn’t have a BYOD program? Visit k12blueprint.com and find a free toolkit that will help your school establish a BYOD program. With careful planning, the incorporation of student-owned devices within classroom instruction can be a driving factor in your child’s engagement and achievement in learning. The right technology can ensure your child maximizes his or her learning potential in a BYOD program.