laptop with siblings or parents at home, giving them greater access; and it is now easier for students to
continue work started in class when at home.
Logistics and Challenges
To facilitate the move to BYOD in fourth grade, specialized carts were designed to house laptops when
they are not in use and to function as charging stations. In addition, both Student Guidelines and Parent
Guidelines were developed to support the program and maximize student success and safety during the
first year of BYOD.
The biggest disadvantage reported by students was the additional weight of their school bag. There was
an increase in weight of approximately 2 ½ - 3 ½ kilograms (depending on the model of the laptop and
laptop case). We explored ways to offset this added weight. Students had been carrying a homework
organizer/notebook in their backpacks. Some students explored and chose digital organizers (e.g. Sticky
Notes, Reminders, Wunderlist) to replace the physical notebook; thereby decreasing the weight. In
addition, the school is growing its collection of eBooks. This will give students an option of reading across
their devices and may decrease the need to carry books between home and school.
We continue to explore the potential benefits of a second device - mobile devices such as iPads/ tablets,
or smartphones - to further enhance learning. We believe that different devices have different purposes
and can be used for different learning tasks. In the fourth grade, we saw that second devices such as iPads,
tablets, and smartphones were better for reading, on the spot research, blogging, math skill practice, use
as personal timers, as well as being much more portable. In addition, the camera feature was utilized for
a variety of purposes including documentation of student learning for digital portfolios. Second devices
can also provide opportunities for students to be involved in learning about stop motion photography or
digital story creation.
The R&D task force for Mobile Learning continues to formally investigate the potential of second mobile
devices in the classroom to enhance student learning through various methods including data collection
from staff prototyping the use of second devices, app swap events, and surveying teachers and students.
The data continues to highlight the huge variety of ways in which teachers can make use of devices, and
has also documented students using devices for engaging learning activities.
The shift to a compulsory BYOD program in fourth and fifth grade has brought many educational benefits
to teaching and learning. It has personalized our students’ learning environment and experiences. We
believe the BYOD program supports our realization of ASB’s mission: to inspire all of our students to
continuous inquiry, empowering them with the skills, courage, optimism, and integrity to pursue their
dreams and enhance the lives of others.