Bring Your Own
In the article, “Bring Your Own Excitement,” then principal Dr. Kipp Rogers presented his experiences implementing the new “Bring Your Own Device” policy on his secondary campus in Virginia. Initially, the policy was a response to the common problem of managing and maintaining technology tools in the school system due to budget restrictions and the rapid rate of technological advances.
The new policy was introduced with a heavily promoted “Digital Learning Day,” which included a mandatory training for teachers. The school librarian trained teachers in strategies for incorporating student owned devices into their lessons. Teachers were enthusiastic and receptive to the training, and the “Digital Learning Day” was highly successful. Students were engaged and excited about incorporating their own devices into their school day.
The school worked through some expected challenges. Initially, some staff members were concerned about managing behaviors related to students having access to personal technology, but the administration decided on a policy which focused on the behaviors of the students, rather than on technology used. The article made the comparison that we do not prohibit the use of scissors and crayons because they could be destructive. Another concern was related to equity. How would they support students who did not have access to handheld devices? The school was surprised that in many cases, students with limited financial means were more likely to have web-enabled phones than access to internet at home. For other students, the school was able to access donations from the community.
Use in School Libraries
I was struck by the key role the school librarian played in introducing this new program to the community. The initial training she provided, fostered a sense of enthusiasm across the campus, and empowered the teachers to make this a successful transition. Certainly, these devices could be put to good use in the library. A librarian could use the Poll Everywhere application suggested in the article to gather feedback from a larger group rather than eliciting single responses from one or two students in a class discussion. Blogging and microblogging are ideal strategies for book talks and book reviews. But, the power of these technologies is in their inherent mobility, accessibility and collaborative nature, and the school librarian is in an ideal position to lead and support school staff in ways to utilize these devices across all content areas throughout the school – not just within the library.
Stephens, W., & Fanning, S. (2013). Bring your own excitement. Library Media Connection, 31(4), 12-13.