Reflections on teaching and learning with technology.
I think that B.Y.O.D. is a good idea in theory. Not only will it save schools money, but it allows students the opportunity to relate to the information. For example, the teacher introduced the "Factor Samurai" app to her students. If students are introduced to it and use it on their own devices they will then be familiar with the app and how to use it when they are at home or outside of the classroom. B.Y.O.D. gives students access to school related materials that may be used in the classroom. Although there are benefits to this new idea I still have some concerns. What if not all of your students have technology available to them at home that they are able to bring into the classroom? Specifically, in elementary classrooms I feel as though not as many students would have access to their own personal technology devices to use in the classroom. I know that I did not personally have a cell phone, computer, ipad, ect. until I was much older. How can you accomodate for all students? And how do you accomodate a lesson if students all have different devices or different brands of devices? We have seen this problem occur in our classroom due to different brands of computers. I know that we have also addressed the issue of monitoring students' use of technology. Are they using it appropriately? How would you monitor students devices if they were personal devices from home? I think that they idea of B.Y.O.D. can be implemented successfully, but I feel that there are still several issues that need to be addressed.
Having students bring their own technology is giving technology a great first step into the classroom door, especially since we have seen how valuable it can be towards both differentiating instruction and creating engaging lessons. However, just because this is a good first step, it should not be the last. That is, students’ own technology should not be seen as an ‘easy’ or ‘fast’ solution, especially in schools that cannot find it in their budgets to create common technology for the entire school (SMARTboards, for instance). I feel that this is particularly true because students’ own Ipads, smart phones, tablets, etc. can potentially cause more troubles than the problematic situation of finding the funds for school technology. For example, while the article mentions that data shows that students’ family income has an inverse relationship with the quality of their technology, what about students that do not fit into this statistic? What if a student is raised in a home environment where technology is not allowed or encouraged? Should these students’ educations be jeopardized because they cannot bring in the ‘homework’ of a charged iphone or ipad? Additionally, because many of these technologies are customizable with add-ons that students’ can buy, I can see the possibility of social conflicts brewing along the lines of ‘my phone is better than yours.’ This comparison of individual technology can detract students’ attention from the main purpose of the technology: how it can be used in their learning. Lastly, having school-wide technology is much easier to troubleshoot if problems occur. What if a student’s individual technology malfunctions during a lesson or does not have the same capabilities as their peers? It is much easier to fix a SMARTboard if it is found in every classroom than to expect a teacher to be able to troubleshoot a very large range of possible student technologies. I feel that it would almost be necessary to hire a technology expert or create a technology center for this purpose.
Your comments, Tara and Erica, touch on an important issue with any technology use. Providing access to students with limited or no tech resources is an important thing to plan for when applying B.Y.O.D. in your classroom. Fairness in terms of tech access is a must in this case.
My first gut reaction after reading this article was against BYOD. But the more I think about it, the more I realize this is simply a reality given the current time period in which we live. It is no longer uncommon for students to have their own laptops or smart phones on them while in school. The fear is the improper use of these technologies as distracting elements in the classroom. But if teachers embrace these technologies and utilize them effectively, they could become very beneficial to the classroom. It is easy to see that as more and more smart phones are being sold, a wider base of people can afford the decreasing prices. The issue then becomes, differentiation amongst the technologies. Different smart phones have different applications and capabilities. For example, an Android cannot perform some of the same tasks as an iPhone, and vice versa. If a teacher plans effectively enough though, this should not become a problem and BYOD can be implemented. - Brady Olson
I agree with what the others have said. I that BOYT is a good idea. I think that it would increase the students' interest in their school work. But, like the others have mentioned, not everyone has access to their own technology. For students whose families are having financial problems, I do not think that they would be able to come to school with an iphone or a tablet. If a classroom chose to adapt to the BOYT idea, the school would still need to purchase tablets for those who do not have access to that kind of technology in their homes. The article also mentioned that teachers would have to “build lessons around different devices.” This could be problematic. Not every student is going to bring in the same device. If the devices are similar, it would be easier to create a lesson plan. Not every tablet/phone has the same apps, so when creating a lesson plan, the teacher would need to use an app that can be found in each of the different types of tablets.
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