When I started teaching Mobile Application Development a couple of years ago I knew I would only be successful if students got to install and test apps using their own phones. Fortunately, my school’s policy allowed for use of mobile devices at the discretion of the teacher. I put considerable thought into my Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy, and here’s what I came up with.
I devised a color-coded scheme to communicate to students at a glance how freely they should use their devices at any given time. Green, which is never used, allows students free reign over devices — games, texting, social media, anything goes. Yellow expects students to frequently interact with devices for learning. Periodic use of a device in Yellow mode for personal reasons is acceptable, but only briefly. Red expects students to keep their devices put away. This would be an appropriate context for in-class presentations. White requires phones not be present at all, for situations like high-stakes testing.
At the beginning of the year I clearly establish what types of behaviors are and are not appropriate at each BYOD level, and I frequently refer to the level when correcting phone-related student behavior. Consequences are clearly laid out in the policy, which is among the papers I give students to take home at the beginning of the year.
Check back soon for a post about how I integrated the BYOD level into a classroom management reward system.