Mesquite Independent School District is no “KEVIN” when it comes to technology in the classroom. This past February Mesquite High School became the district piloting school for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). The program allows students to connect to the district Wi-Fi network from their own devices; iPads, smart phones, laptops, etc.; to engage in class activities This is a big step in advancing multiple academic designs from the world wide web of technology into the classroom.
Christy Starrett, principal of MHS, has a dream and a goal that every teacher will be equipped with an iPad and every classroom will eventually have classroom sets of iPads or iPods. Principals and teachers are all on board with the idea of moving classroom instruction into a more digital venue. The students we are teaching today were born into a techy world and keeping classrooms on the cutting edge of technology is one advancement this school is proud to pioneer.
However, with change comes compromise and adjustments. Teachers are no stranger to the game of flexibility and redesign on a dime.
It’s easy to implement into the classroom instruction.” Ahmand Rachid said, “and the students have constant access to the lessons here and at home.”
Students are getting the best of both worlds. They get to use their technology and participate actively in the learning environment.
“I think BYOD makes classes more interesting,” senior Ruby Vielma said, “plus it fits in our generation because everything is digital now.”
Learning styles are as unique as IP addresses and having technology at the student’s fingertips is another way to possibly reach those students who have difficulty learning in a traditional lecture type setting.
“I like BYOD.” Lori Albrecht (science dept.) said, “It gives teachers another avenue to try and reach their students.”
Of course with every new idea there are bugs to be worked out, especially when it comes to technology.
“The implementation has been sketchy.” Jennifer Sallee said, “the network has been down, not everyone can access it yet, etc. I wish there had been a smoother transition.”
Even with the network issues and the bugs BYOD is consistently getting the thumbs up. At this point, 85% of the student body has registered a device to the district WiFi. Looks like BYOD isn’t another cyber gadget failure, it appears that it will become as traditional as books are to education.
by Chandler Claxton