BYOD: Does It Solve or Does It Worsen K-12 Tech Woes?

Over the weekend, educator and journalist Gary Stager penned a fiery blog post calling BYOD (bring your own device) the worst idea of the 21st century. Stager's post is a response to the increasing popularity among K-12 schools to allow students to bring their own computers to schools, whether they're laptops, netbooks, iPads, or cellphones.

Stager, who has been an advocate for one-to-one computing initiatives for about as long as the concept has been around, argues that by opting to support BYOD, schools are eschewing their responsibilities to provide students with equitable access to technology. Among his complaints: BYOD enshrines inequality by allowing affluent classmates to have better tools than others. Furthermore, it reduces the potential of computers in the classroom to the lowest common denominator or lowest common technology specifications present. In other words, if you have a classroom that's a mix of iPads, laptops, and clamshell mobile phones, he argues, you're going to devise activities for the weakest device. And oftentimes that'll mean using these devices solely for information retrieval looking stuff up on the Internet.

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