By Conor Doyle
A lack of student interest in the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program at Holliston High School has lead to less than expected student participation since BYOD started at the beginning of second semester this year.
“The goal of the program was to make the school environment look more like the environment students have at home,” said school superintendent Dr. Brad Jackson, who was slightly disappointed with the lack of student participation.
“I was surprised that the students didn’t embrace it more,” Dr. Jackson said when asked how he thought the program was received. He went on to say that he thought that the faculty was blocking students by not letting them use technology to its fullest potential.
Dr. Jackson also believed that the reason for the lack of interest in students may be because they do not fully realize the value of technology. In retrospect he said he would have made the value clearer when the program was introduced.
Ms. Eagle, the school librarian, regularly sees classes working, and noticed a tepid response from students, noting that some classes participate more than others. She also noted that the level of comfort that the teachers have using their own devices often reflects how involved the class is in the program.
Several other problems with the program have arisen since it started, such as the inability to print from student devices or monitor what the devices are being used for.
Eagle also commented that the school does not offer any classes to students educating them on how best to use devices. Many staff members, including Dr. Jackson, believe that students are computer savvy enough, and do not need any further education.
Despite these problems and a slow beginning, BYOD did have some positives.
“[BYOD] certainly succeeded in helping students to bring in more devices,” said Ms. Eagle.
Ms. Anne Connoni, a math teacher at the school, supports the program, saying that it is great as long as students use the program appropriately, and don’t use their devices simply because they are there. She also stated that it has been very useful for class activities, and is especially helpful in that it minimizes problems that stem from transferring student work between school and home.
BYOD has been active for less than a whole semester, and according to Dr. Jackson, will be a gradual process that will take time for both students and faculty to fully embrace.