Students work together to share what they have
learned about using their laptops
A prototype was designed and conducted in one 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade classroom during the 2011-
2012 school year, investigating the impact of students bringing their own devices from home for learning.
Students brought a variety of devices including laptops of various brands and models, iPads, tablets, and
iPods. After an eight week prototype, we concluded that students benefited more from using their own
device in the classroom rather than the school provided machines. Students were more efficient and
capable of solving their own tech issues. Each one of them had learned the basics of their own device,
and had figured out the typical ways to continue working when faced with challenges and did not need
as much support to solve these issues. This ownership of the laptop positively impacted the ways in which
they learned. Further documentation of the prototype can be viewed at
Both tablets and laptops had important and useful roles in students’ learning. Some students even made
use of both devices at the same time; however, the level of work that we were already doing in class, was
not easily matched on iPads in 2011. This meant that if we were going to continue to be as productive,
laptops were still needed in our classes. Personal laptops enabled students to learn and create work
Based on the success and conclusions from the prototypes, the Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) program
started in the 2012-2013 school year for all students in the Middle and High School at ASB. In the same
school year, BYOD was optional for students in grades 4 and 5. About 30% of students in 4th and
5th grade brought their own laptops to school. In the following school year, 2013-2014, all 4th and 5th
grade students were required to bring a laptop that met the minimum specifications that ASB had
defined. The purpose of the BYOD program was to expand and enhance opportunities for personalized
learning. Bringing a second device was optional for students.
Does BYOD Enhance Learning?
The BYOD program has had many positive educational benefits. We believe it enhances learning by
personalizing the learning experience, promoting ownership, and expanding learning opportunities.
Each day, students bring in their laptops, which they
are already familiar with. They have personalized the
settings and they continue to explore the capabilities
of their laptops. Students are enthusiastic about
teaching their peers the new things they have learned.
Besides the basic software ASB requires, students and
families are also able to choose which additional
applications and programs they might like to install on
Both teachers and students have noticed that BYOD
promotes student ownership. Students recognized that
they take better care of their own laptops and have
increased their level of responsibility. “ I think that I am
the owner of my learning because the laptop is my