[Tips for Educators] BYOD Practices to Enhance Learning within Budget

byod tips for-less-budget schoolsTo picture a classroom with student centric learning, we picture students to be able to use their devices to access the collection of apps, web tools, and learning resources that are available on the web.

BYOD has its own pros and cons, and the most common and biggest problem is that most of them do not have that budget to buy the devices in the ratio 1:1 for the students.

It is simple to understand that if you want to implement Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), apart from knowing the dos and don’ts you need to know the investment required. You have to be aware about the overall budget in order to see the students bringing their own technology devices like their smartphones, ipads, other tablets, and laptops to schools. But yes, BYOD is still a great initiative for educational institutions to step into as mobile learning is having a great impact on 21st century education.

In short, BYOD implementation is not affordable by majority of the schools. So how do we eradicate this problem?

Many educators across the globe have shared their practices for using devices in the classroom effectively without the burden of the budget. And here is how you can enhance learning with less number of devices and low budget in a classroom.

  • In case of devices like laptops and desktops, you can plan the time table based on the number of students and manage to have a class in a common lab with these devices to be used by students. The same set of devices can be used by each grade students at different times. Although this method can be challenging for teachers during projects, but this is one of the solutions for many schools and institutions.
  • Another option for a teacher trying to get the effectiveness of the devices is to request for only one device for a group of students, resulting into less number of devices for the whole class. This method can enhance the student’s skills to work in a team and collaboratively working in groups.

Here are some advantages of such an initiative:

I believe you will agree with the fact that “Doing something and getting it wrong is atleast ten times better more productive than doing nothing”. What I mean to say is that the classroom which does not have a single device (due to the reason of budget), can be introduced to this idea of fewer devices in the classroom and it is also then monetarily achievable to have less number of laptops and desktops for every classroom teacher in the institution.

The great idea behind this is that in case each student requires a device, you can always get back to scheduling the class in the common lab.

Here are some ideas for its successful implementation:

  • Learn how students can work on a project in teams of 4 or 5.
  • Some great tips by educators include creating different roles for each student in the group, and being a leader to make sure each student realizes her responsibility to contribute in the project.

Here is how fewer devices can also produce effective learning:

Can Improve Creativity and Imagination
Working in a group helps students to share ideas which play the string of creativity and imagination in their minds. They become open to ideas and respect the ideas presented by others within their group.

Can Create Better Outcomes
When each student brings her creativity and imagination, strength of a groups of students is tremendous. They can bring a broad range of knowledge and skills creating better solutions to the problems, in comparison to the solution they would otherwise have provided individually.

Can Increase Student Commitment
When a group has common goal and students understand their contribution, it can help them to increase self-determination. Also students get a sense of achievement when they contribute to the solution to a problem, which encourages them to contribute sincerely every time.

Some of the other benefits include reducing individual biases as they are challenged by the group, and each student understands that the only person responsible for their learning is she herself.

Students can create a great learning environment around themselves if they have the option to learn in a preferred mode, which matches their interests. Thus, we would want educators to put this into their idea list and try to implement it successfully with few more innovative ideas plugged to support it.

Let us know what would you recommend for a school facing the problem of not being able to match the 1:1 ratio of devices to students?

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