BYOD stands for Bring Your Own Device. This means that in plenty of schools across the country, students are being encouraged to bring their own personal tablets, laptops, smartphones, and other technology for use at school. Why you may ask? Well there are a few reasons including finances and the world we live in today. People are constantly pushing each other to the next level with new discoveries and inventions, which often requires us to keep up with the times. BYOD does have benefits, but with benefits there are also challenges. This reflection is to explore the purposes, benefits, and challenges behind the new Bring Your Own Device teaching style.
Bring Your Own Device is a way for students and classrooms to take advantage of the resources they have been surrounded by for so many years now. All students at some point have used a computer and a phone, and know how to access technology. BYOD allows for students to think in different ways, rather than just by studying a textbook. It is always there, yet “constantly changing, requiring independent learners with new skills for changing work environments.” (K12 BluePrint) BYOD is simply just a way to advance our teaching and learning skills to higher levels than in the past.
Benefits of BYOD include multiple areas that can benefit in more ways than one. One example is that BYOD allows collaborative learning through online discussion posts, shared powerpoints, and educational websites. This factors in to meaningful learning and is important because it gives students a way to see different perspectives. Another benefit is it reduces costs and pressures of the school to have updated technology and computers for student use. If the device is brought and paid for by the students, the school is free to use their money in more dire areas. BYOD also can benefit from the creativity it allows students. An example of this was seen in our class on Tuesday when each one of us was to find apps that helped students learn. This proved that there are so many tools out their that BYOD lets students and teachers take advantage of to promote education and understanding.
Challenges that BYOD faces deal with more technical issues such as privacy, protection, and wifi connection. In education however, student engagement is important to consider when using BYOD. I have ADD so using a device for me in class can sometimes be difficult, especially when I don’t take my medicine. For students with this same issue that are not being treated, BYOD may be very challenging because there are so many other things you can be doing on your device. A way I found to overcome this challenge is through the app you can download to your computer called “Self Control”. Self Control allows you to set a timed blocker on anything that could potentially distract you, and there is no way to turn it off. This helps when I need to focus and I am on my computer. Another challenge to look at would be costs of families. In some areas, families do not have the money to pay for devices, so this could be unfair to these students who want the same education.
A personal experience I have had with BYOD goes back to the sixth grade when I attended a private school in Atlanta. At my school, students were required to have an iPod Touch to bring to school. They then required us to download certain apps to enhance our learning in multiple areas. In theory this is a good idea to put the school in front of others, but in reality some families did not feel the desire to buy their child a brand new iPod in order to use the Bible app when they could just bring a Bible to school. As a sixth grader, I thought it was really cool, but as a twenty-year old looking back, it seems as if it was not the best choice my school could have made.
So overall, do I agree with BYOD? In some ways. I think it is beneficial when the students are mature enough to handle using the program how it was designed. It definitely provides new facets for learning, but I do not believe we should totally transform to BYOD.