With or without the economic downturn, using technology in the classroom can be problematic. Schools as well as parents can find themselves in a economic turmoil making the use of technology in the classroom problematic. there are a lot of new and exciting devices available, from smartphones to handheld devices, but they come with a cost. Even if you work at a school where parents are overall wealthy, it is still difficult if not awkward to require students to purchase additional technology related items. A method of alleviating the financial burden while still being able to utilize the newest aspects of technology is to embrace the bring your own device model along with focusing on the criteria for the end product not the technology used. "In five years (my prediction), more than 90% of companies with 100 or more employees will have a BYOD program in place" Ken Hess, ZDnet. Moving into a mentality where we want to encourage technology use and use all the cool bells and whistles should take precedent. However giving and encouraging the use of technology can still be a part of the classroom. How is this to be done? Using the BYOD and focusing on giving students free choice to use or not to use technology in their work. If it's good enough for the business world, why not for schools? With time slowly students will start to use tech as they figure out the best tools and methods to use from their peers and from teachers. Some students may only have internet access and free online tools to use while at school. While others may have the latest and greatest smartphone to use. What is amazing about today's world is that it really doesn't matter what they use, they'll all be able to create amazing products, be it on a high end Mac or a cheap netbook, the amount of time and dedication is what makes a good product not the device. Avoiding the brand name trap or latest greatest tech tool promotion will make technology more accessible in the long run for your students, while giving them the freedom to choose the tools they use will only help to motivate them to use what they are comfortable using.
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