Bring your own device

BYOD- short for ‘Bring your own device’. This term describes the idea that students are allowed to bring their own technical devices (Smartphones, Tablets, etc.) to school and use them in the context of lessons.

However, there are advantages as well as downsides to the concept. Here’s a list of arguments that I found to be the most convincing on each side.

  • Schools don’t have to cover the costs for expensive technology that most students actually already carry in their pockets anyway.
  • Student’s devices can be used rather flexibly, as they are available for students nearly 24/7.
  • Learners are already familiar with the features and functions of their own devices – this might save time for learning processes

Possbilbe disadvantages of the concept could be:

  • Some students do not own any devices / or rather cheap devices – besides this may leading to all kinds of mobbing and exclusion,  teachers need to be aware of this in their lesson planning
  • Devices are able to distract students from what’s really important

 

In total, BYOD offers chances for teachers and schools to integrate digital media in lessons, hence to support students’ digital literacies. It sure has its possibilities but whether it is suitable for a certain context, lesson or project must be decided individually.

On the other hand, teachers need to be aware of possible difficulties. The fact that some students come from lower income households and as a consequence may not have own technical devices can lead to several troubles. Suggestions as establishing a mentoring program where mentors try to help students to get in possession of devices, or even to go begging for devices via Twitter, Facebook and Co. seem rather ridiculous and even more embarassing to me.

 

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