Thursday, November 10, 2011

Debunking 7 Myths About BYOD in THE Journal

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More than a decade into the 21st century and we are still keeping learners and teachers prisoners of the analog past by enforcing outdated mandates that ban and block them from using the digital resources of their world. Fortunately, today’s students are standing up, speaking out, and, in many cases, using the technology and websites they do not have access to in school to do so.  

This week THE Journal invited me to dispel common myths about bringing your own device (BYOD) to school. When we do, we can begin to move past the ignorance and toward breaking the ban. The article addresses the following myths:

Debunking 7 BYOD Myths
Myth No. 1: BYOD deepens the digital divide.
Myth No. 2: BYOD will result in lessons geared toward the weakest device. 
Myth No. 3: BYOD will cause students to be distracted. 
Myth No. 4: Teachers need to become experts in all the technology students own. 
Myth No. 5: BYOD will result in students engaging in dangerous activities.
Myth No. 6: Cell phones are not that powerful, so we should not waste our time with them.
Myth No. 7: BYOD will necessitate the standardization of apps and software across all devices. 

Check out the whole article and read the reasons behind each myth here.  


  1. Myths:

    1 - Is somewhat true. The poorest students do not have access to ANY devices and need the school to level the playing field for them. I teach at a Title I school and see this every day.
    7 - HTML 5 is an important technology we need.

  2. So why don't you tell your boss, Michael Bloomberg, to reverse his ban against allowing students to bring their cell phones to school? I'm not sold on the learning aspect, but they are essential safety devices in the 21st century, and the ban is only enforced in schools w/ large nos. of poor and minority students.

  3. @Leonie Haimson,
    That is a good idea. If you can set up a meeting, I'd be happy to speak with him. In the meantime, I've been covered in the press locally, nationally, and internationally sharing my views on this, written several articles, spoken out publicly, and also written a book advising my boss and other policy makers to reverse the ban. Some are listening. To date I haven't heard anything from my boss.

    As far as the learning aspect...
    I've written dozens of articles, presented around the globe, and written a book explaining how you can use your own technology to learn. Perhaps learning more about this could help you strengthen your position on the issue. Send me your address and I'd be happy to send you a book.

  4. It's possible to address concern #7 by implementing BYOD in a way that separates the school's applications from the personal devices. This can be achieved with a solution like Ericom's AccessNow, a pure HTML5 RDP client that enables users to securely connect from various devices (including iPads, iPhones, Android devices and Chromebooks) to any RDP host, including Terminal Server (RDS Session Host), physical desktops or VDI virtual desktops – and run their applications and desktops in a browser. This keeps the school's applications separate from the student's personal device.

    AccessNow works natively with Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer (with Chrome Frame plug-in), Firefox and any other browser with HTML5 and WebSockets support.

    For more info, and to download a demo, visit:

  5. "In the banking concept of education, knowledge is a gift bestowed by those who consider themselves knowledgeable upon those whom they consider to know nothing. Projecting an absolute ignorance on others, a characteristic of the ideology of oppression, negates education and knowledge as process of inquiry. (Freire, 2009, p. 72)" I wonder if Paolo Freire would consider teachers being the keepers of the knowledge by preventing students from using BYODs to be a form of oppression? In the 21st century, the smartest person in the room is the room itself, unless the room is oppressed by the person standing in front of it.