The current generation of college students has seen and experienced much advancement in technology from their first days in elementary school to their current lives. They have seen the rise of cell phones, digital cameras and computers. They’ve watched and participated in the explosion of the Internet and sites such as Facebook and Twitter. They’ve seen the arrival of 3D movies, iTunes and Kindles. Technology is ingrained in the DNA of this generation.
As technology advances and changes our society, schools have to advance and change with it. “BYOD” is an acronym used by schools around the country. It stands for “Bring Your Own Device.”
Two years ago, schools such as North Canton Hoover High School punished students for using cell phones and iPads in class. Now, with the implementation of “BYOD” as of the spring semester of 2012, students are encouraged to bring their cell phones, iPads and laptops to school and use them for educational purposes. This is a dramatic shift from the zero-tolerance approach of a few years ago.
Dr. Jeffery Beine, an associate professor of education, said that money was a large incentive for the schools to change their technology policy.
“Suddenly last year, it became cool for all the school boards to bring in BYOD,” Beine said. “Why? It’s money.”
Schools save money if they don’t have to buy iPads and computers for their students but let the parents purchase them instead.
Luke Williams, a senior early childhood and intervention specialist major, is currently student teaching at Northwood Elementary School in North Canton.
“In Ohio there is a push for a 1:1 ratio between students and technology right now,” Williams said. “This is mostly in effect for older students through the use of Google Chromebooks or iPads.”
Williams believes that the schools need to adapt to the changing society around them. In order to be relevant to this technological generation, education must keep up with the development of new technology.
As schools go through changes, pressure is put on teachers and education majors to learn new skills that will make them adept in a classroom filled with technology.
“I think most high school teachers are flailing and don’t have specific training on how to use the technology in their classrooms,” Beine said. “I think there are some wonderful, notable exceptions of teachers in the area who are doing really impressive things.”
Education students need to be prepared to reenter the school systems as teachers with the necessary skills to teach a unique group of students.
Cory Veldhuizen is a contributing writer for The Aviso AVW.