[Educators' View] BYOD Can Improve Engagement and Learning in the Classroom


[Educators' View] BYOD Can Improve Engagement and Learning in the Classroom
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is a trending strategy that many educational institutions are nowadays trying to adopt. It’s a policy of permitting students to bring their personally owned technological devices such as smart phones, tablets and laptops
 to the classroom. Different educational institutions have different reasons for bringing the BYOD technique into their classroom. A few reasons are as follows:

Budgetary problems: Many educational institutions are interested in bringing many technological approaches into their classroom but aren’t able to do it due to budgetary problems. BYOD can be a solution for such institutions where they can allow students to bring their technological devices from home and to use them in the classroom and share them with other students.

To make Learning more personalized:

Some institutions and educators have recognized the fact that a student feels much comfort in learning when the technology he uses to study in the classroom is the same technology he uses to work at home. Students can download apps, games, tutorials and docs according to their individual interest.

Many educators shared their experiences and practices about how BYOD has helped them improve student engagement and learning in the classroom. Let me share with you some important points from those interactions.

Why shouldn’t educators impose rules on technology use:

As we know many educators oppose BYOD policy because they feel that having students using devices will take its toll on teachers and will be commonly misused by students. Dendya, a connected teacher, has shared his views about why he supports BYOD. Let’s learn about it.

According to Dendya, “Learning shouldn’t be strictly held and controlled by institutions of learning.”

“I am a teacher and a believer in the abilities of our young people. They are more than capable of using these devices appropriately and in a way which profits us all. They are already miles ahead of most of us. They are 21st century learners and we are 20th century educators. If we do not acknowledge this reality and embrace the incredible potential it brings, we will almost certainly have empty seats. Gone are the days of "sit down and do as you are told for I know best." We must have faith in the abilities of our youth to navigate these times with us by their sides supporting them and learning with them, not holding them back from a future they are more qualified to predict than we are.” Said Dendya.

He certainly supported the policy of BYOD and suggested teachers not to restrict students on technology usage. Filter must be developed within a student (language, behavior and thoughts) but not on the technology usage. “As long as we impose our rules (of technology use in this case), they will have fewer opportunities to learn what is appropriate.”, said Dendya.

BYOD brings good results, engages students and turns good educators into better:

According to Thomus Murray , BYOD and 1:1 are great ways that advance teaching strategies. He suggested us that we shouldn’t limit the students for teachers’ growth. With BYOD, teachers create high quality, rigorous lessons that focus on curation, engagement and higher level skills. What should be highlighted here is that having a quality teacher. If the teacher is efficient enough, BYOD will be a weapon to enhance student learning and we will no longer receive negative feedback.

“My children's teachers let them use their iPod, iPad, and mobile phones in class all of the time. It's easy for them to hand in assignments via email to their teachers, it saves a lot of trees, and it saves the school money by not having to buy reference books etc. that go out of date quickly (I think we all have a set of encyclopedias that are past their expiration date). I have never had a complaint from the school that they were texting or playing games when they should not have been, and it sounds as though there's a firewall in place to prevent students from accessing inappropriate content.”, said Lindsay, an Ed tech enthusiast.

Mixed devices bring best learning practices:

If we allow students to bring their own devices into the classroom, we may find numerous devices and it may seem difficult to implement a specific lesson plan. But indirectly, BYOD can be beneficial in finding the best learning strategy. Mixed devices bring different learning practices and students can easily find what perfectly suits a particular concept to learn.

In BYOD approach, students take greater responsibility for their own technology. Learning can be achieved at school in the presence of educators as well as at home with the guidance of parents. These are a few opinions of educators about how well BYOD increases classroom engagement. We’d like to have your views and classroom practices on BYOD strategy. Please feel free to share with us in the comment box. 

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About the Author
Author: Santosh Bhaskar KWebsite: http://www.twitter.com/SantoshBhaskarK
Devotee of Dr. Abdul Kalam. Following his path of Creating Creative Education in India. Contributing my works in "India Vision 2020". Former EdTech Blogger/Researcher at ETR India

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