When it comes to using technology in the classroom there are tons of options teachers can choose from. Many districts want to go one to one so each student has their own tablet or laptop. The initial investment of purchasing hundreds or thousands of devices makes this out of reach for some schools. One option administrators are exploring is a program known as BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. In these learning environments students are asked to bring a device of their choice to school.
How does it work?
Bring Your Own Device is just like it sounds, students and their families choose what type of technology they want their teen to bring into their classroom to support their learning. When students are in a BYOD program everyone has access to the Internet and can work on a variety of web platforms. Students can all participate in class work and group work that requires technology. They’ll be able to take assessments on their device and use it to create and consume content.
Why are schools deciding to try out a BYOD program?
Schools are exploring Bring Your Own Device programs for a variety of reasons. Administrators find that having students bring their own device to school saves money. Instead of purchasing a device for every student, districts can allocate funds only for students in need of financial support and place the cost of buying technology on families.
It also gives teens the chance to use a device that they are already familiar with or have access to on a regular basis. Schools don’t have to maintain the equipment themselves and can focus their energy on making sure that their Internet connectivity and security settings are working properly. Teachers are finding that the number of device neutral apps that can be used across multiple platforms is increasing, giving them plenty of options when working with students that have different devices.
What challenges to BYOD schools face?
Starting a BYOD program takes a lot of planning. Schools need to make sure that they have the appropriate infrastructure for multiple users. Their Internet access and security settings will have to support many devices that are active at one time. Some institutions may decide to provide a list of approved devices for families to choose from. Another challenge that BYOD schools face is that they are often limited to web based tools that can be accessed from different types of devices. This means that the will rely heavily on Internet access, as opposed to using apps that are downloaded once then don’t require students to be on the web. The idea of having multiple devices in the classroom can also be intimidating for teachers who might be uncomfortable with students using tablets that they aren’t familiar with and won’t be able to help students troubleshoot different issues.
Does your school let students bring in their own device? How would you feel about trying this out in your classroom? Please comment below!
Monica Burns is an Education Consultant, EdTech Blogger, and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.