BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

2012 article looking at specific schools and their BYOD-

Having students use their own devices for educational purposes in school opens a new can of worms, which both enables instruction in digital and information literacies and can strain the socioeconomic and digital divide of the school community.


A 2014 article in reports a quick increase in BYOD programs in schools and teacher workshops to support device use for education- 


This article from Intel is a “toolkit”, I would say checklist for planning a BYOD program-


These resources were compiled by Dr. Marilyn Arnone for SU’s ischool’s course on Technology in Educational Organizations


Access to the Internet: some personal reflections from a rural Upstate New Yorker

Living just 20 minutes south of Syracuse, NY I assumed I would be able to at least get cable Internet when I moved from the city out to the country.  Sure I lived next to a farm, but I was not that far from a city.

Not so.  There is no cable.  There was no DSL either.  The only option was satellite Internet.  10 years ago this was expensive, but we did it because we needed Internet access for our jobs.  $400 for the satellite and $50 a month.

It took forever to load: upload, download.  Arrrgh!

In frustration I called the cable company and asked if they would run cable to the house. They said the closest box was a country block away.  I thought it would be good for their business to run it and then try and get the houses between the box and our house to sign up too.  ” You would have to pay for it.” “Well how much is it?”  Now I don’t remember so well what the amount was but it was more than a couple thousand dollars.  No way could a couple teachers afford it.  So, back to the satellite.  It was better than dial up.

A couple years later we got a new neighbor and we were chatting and he said he got DSL.  It was so exciting.  As it was true.  Why we didn’t know this new service existed?  Beats me.  But the one phone company you can choose in this rural town had started installing DSL (and not advertising it).  And so 8 years later I type this little story using DSL.  Sometimes it works and sometimes the wind blows and the telephone company is at the corner tinkering with the phone box to try and fix the DSL.  But, I can be an online student and only occasionally have to go to the public library 15 minutes away to turn in my homework.

Broadband in the US

Under the US Department of Commerce is an agency called the National telecommunications and Information Administration.  They had administered several programs related to federal funding and assistance to fund Broad Band Access.  Reports related to these grants are found on their website BroadbandUSA.

One of the difficulties we see in some funding sources that try to aid the Digital Divide and provide access is how the funding is spent.  This 2013 New York Times Article , by Edward Wyatt highlights one case where the NTIA grant might have missed the mark.

All Tech Considered, a segment of Fresh Air on NPR, interviewed Susan Crawford who has written a book called “Captive Audience: The Telecom Industry and Monopoly Power in the Gilded Age.”  As part of her interview, she gives an overview of the state of US Internet infrastructures: NPR Audio Clip of interview “When it comes to High-speed Internet the US is falling behind”



National Public Radio (2014, February 06).  When it comes to the high speed internet the US is falling behind.  Retrieved from

Wyatt, E. (2013).  Waste is seen in program to give internet access to rural U.S.  New York Times.  Retrieved from

Foundation for Rural Education and Development

One of the obstacles in Upstate New York is funding.  The economy in not booming in rural upstate.  Many of the rural communities are impoverish, as already highlighted in defining the problem.  Finding money to support rural growth of information and communication technologies can be difficult.

The Foundation for Rural Education and Development(FRED) was created to help find ways to bolster economic growth in rural areas of the United States and Canada.  To do this they have several programs, including technology and community growth grants.  FRED is both a possible source of funding and another model of how to bring together institutions and communities in need. – This is a video of the 20th anniversary of FRED with some examples of what they’ve done over the 20 years.

Technology company and community partnerships

Stephanie Chard, an ischool student contributed this find in our discussion about access.  It’s a program funded by Samsung and I think a great model for how companies can collaborate with communities to resolve issues of access and affordability.

Hope for Children is a Samsung program that worked to create rural solar powered internet schools in Sub-Saharan Countries in Africa.

Though upstate New York does not have issues with electricity, it could use a partnership like this as a model for finding solutions to the lack of high speed internet, winter heating solutions and technological expertise.


Akl, A. (2014, June 20).  Africa’s solar powered schools bridge digital divide [Web log post].  Retrieved from

Samsung Corportation (n.d.).  Hope for children.  Retrieved from

Participatory Engagement is key

Robin Mansell is at Professor at the London School of Economics focuses on “bottom up” participatory engagement.  This is an important factor when looking at access and affordability issues in rural settings.  People who will use the technologies need to be involved in the discourse around how to provide and what to provide in terms of ICTs.  They also need to be involved in the training and give training to each other.

Mansell, R. (2013, June 25).   Digital divide- Robin Mansell [Video file].  Retrieved from

How do we do this in rural Upstate New York?  Getting people to participate means identifying the community centers in a rural community.  This could be the :

Public Library

Lions Club

Public School


Fire House