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Vancouver high schools try "BYOD"

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – Some kids no longer need to bring calculators and dictionaries to class, thanks to laptops and tablets. But are those electronics allowed at school?

The Vancouver School District is inviting students to BYOD, which stands for “Bring Your Own Device.”

The use of laptops and cell phones is generally up to the teachers discretion. But this new pilot project gets kids to use their smartphones and tablets in class without getting in trouble.

Audrey Van Alstyne with the school district says starting this year, there will be some lessons where using your cell phone will be encouraged.

“My kids are grown up now. I’ve had to buy a scientific calculator and a dictionary and all these pieces; you don’t need [all of them] anymore, it’s in one device,” explains Van Alstyne.

She adds these tools benefit some students with different learning styles. “They can take a picture of the notes if they are too slow at writing and then they can take those notes to study with them, ideally. Or they can use audio and e-mail the audio clip to the teacher.”

Kids without devices won’t feel left out, as Van Alstyne says teachers will have extras on-hand. All the teacher would have to do is book the electronics in advance.

She doesn’t expect kids to goof around during class.

“We’re starting to work with teachers about what’s that going to look like in the classroom, what’s classroom management like, because there’s going to be kids in the back row that are going to want to be off-task, and what we’re finding is that kids work well in pairs,” she explains.

“If you’re my [partner] and I’m mischievous and I say, ‘Hey, let’s go on Facebook when we’re finished,’ you say ‘No if we do that, we’ll lose our privilege of using this device,’ and we’re findingĀ  that kids monitoring kids is working really well.”

For now, BYOD will only be in high schools.