This has long been heralded as the only option ahead for schools. Certainly Secondary School Pupils carry around smart phone devices with computing power and applications to rival those available in their own schools, yet still most schools ban these devices from the classroom and will happily take them away and lock them up rather than allowing them into the classroom as a welcome tool.
Can schools afford to keep doing this?
Certainly educators such as Stephen and Juliette Heppell think not. They have been running a study into the use of both Facebook and mobile phones in the classroom and it makes for interesting reading http://www.cloudlearn.net/
Other educators are also starting to prompt schools into again considering this as an option including Terry Freedman who blogged about it only recently at http://www.ictineducation.org/home-page/2012/3/8/bring-your-own-technology.html
As long ago as 2009 the Guardian ran an article about leaders of teaching unions urging schools to “reap the benefits of modern technology” by overturning mobile phone bans in schools (read more about that at http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2009/oct/11/schools-mobile-phone-ban )
Schools cannot afford to ignore the ipod touch, the DSi even, let alone the smartphone and the netbook that children already own. Schools need to plan for the future. They need to invest in a robust wireless infrastructure and be ready to have policies and teaching practices in place to welcome personally owned devices into the classroom with open arms!