Maryland District Headed Toward BYOD Programs in Every School
Slowly but steadily, a school district in southern
is converting all of its 36 schools into device-friendly zones. Early in
Charles County Public
Schools introduced a BYOD (bring your own device) policy
into three of its schools — an elementary, middle and high school.
When school starts
this fall, four more will get involved and District Assistant
Sylvia Lawson said eventually every one of the district's 26,000-plus
should be able to use their own mobile devices, tablets and laptops in
"Because students have so many different devices that
at home," Lawson told a local reporter, "we felt it was only natural to allow those
and those students to bring those devices into school for educational
The catalyst for the transition, said Stone High
Principal Michael Meiser, was the increase in broadband that was
support new Common Core assessment technology. It also meant there was
for more students to use their own devices in the classroom.
He said it has allowed teachers to expand the
opportunity for "visual"
field trips, research options, online scavenger hunts and pop quizzes
Meiser pointed to the example of having, for
lesson on Genghis Khan enhanced by the ability of students to Google
Khan at the same time.
District representatives said one of the greatest
challenges to even
quicker movement toward BYOD in the district has been the reluctance of
teachers and administrators to participate. Meiser said that challenge
met with more staff development opportunities.
"We started with the principals who were comfortable
Lawson said, "who could then lead the training for other principals."
Students who participate must have permission from
parents to use their own devices in school, and laptops and other
made available to students who do not have their own.
Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.