An overwhelming majority of middle and high school students have cell phones, but teachers and administrators continue to raise questions about how to minimize student distraction and how to use the devices for instruction. Lisa Nielsen recommends taking the following nine steps towards resolving these issues.
1 Update outdated policies that criminalize student use of their own devices.
2 Remove network obstacles that keep students from connecting.
3 Talk to students—celebrate ways they learn with their devices and ask them for input on policies.
4 Prepare teachers to manage a device-rich classroom.
5 Provide opportunities for teachers to learn to use technology as a tool to engage students.
6 Tie effective use of technology to student achievement.
7 Ensure those who evaluate teacher performance understand how technology increases effectiveness.
8 Implement digital citizenship instruction into your school.
9 Connect with others who have had success. You can do this by following hashtags #mlearning #byod and #byotchat on social media.