Pineville teacher and girls head basketball coach Matthew Shafer presented an idea for the future use of cell phones and tablets in the Pineville Independent School District during the regular school board meeting on Monday.
Shafer asked the board to consider the implementation of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program at Pineville High School.
The BYOD program allows students to use their smart phones or tablets for classroom activities and projects. Shafer stated students must place their phone face down on their desk during class and can turn it over for use when allowed.
Shafer pointed out teachers would know where the phones are located during class.
“It has worked really well in my classroom,” said Shafer. “I’ve never had my kids more engaged in research than when they’ve had it on their phone.”
There are free applications (apps) available for students using the smart phones and tablets. Shafer explained one app which could be useful is entitled “Study Blue.” This app has study cards for almost every subject, according to Shafer. Instead of using traditional note cards, students would be able to use their phones to study.
“Do they probably send a text message at one point throughout the process… it probably slips through,” said Shafer when discussing a potential issue with the program.
Shafer said at least with the BYOD program students will not be looking off to the side and taking their phone out of their pocket to check messages and eventually stop paying attention in class.
One student who likes the BYOD program is Annalee Adams, a senior. She spoke about using the program to complete an assignment for career cruising. Adams said there were not enough computers so students were allowed to use their phones to complete the assignment.
“It is quick because we are use to using our phone and we can get to the website quickly,” said Adams.
Stacey Washington, a junior, explained iBooks to the school board. With iBooks, one can download complete versions of books to their smart phones or tablets. When reading a book using the iBooks app, a person can double click on a word to get a definition.
Pineville High School Principal Bill Keyes said kids would not lose books the board is asked to buy if the BYOD program is implemented because (more than likely) kids are not going to lose their phones.
Devin Enix, a junior, described one way Shafer used the BYOD program during the election. Using an app titled “270toWin,” students were able to come up with their own projection as to the how the election would turn out when ballots were counted.
Shafer stated there are grants available for implemented programs like BYOD. The main problem the board must address when it comes to implementing the BYOD program is the need for smart phones or tablets.
Every student in the school does not own a smart phone or tablet, so the board would need to find a way to address that problem, he said.
No action was taken on the proposal during the board meeting.
Anthony Cloud can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.