Bring Your Own Device policies can be a major transition for schools and educators. Technology can be a positive and negative disruption in how children learn, and how schools decide to teach them.
BYOD is becoming standard across many schools in New Zealand, and several industry experts say schools need to implement careful planning when transitioning into a BYOD environment.
Transitioning to a BYOD school will have its problems, but there are some steps schools and teachers can consider when planning BYOD in the classroom.
Lesson planning with BYOD
Teachers need to plan lessons for the devices they are using in the classroom. The technology may not be fully utilised to its potential if how they are being used is not properly planned. Teachers should have a list of websites and applications on hand that are ideal for particular subjects or particular students, this way students will be engaged for longer. Teachers should learn how to use the devices and applications they are using before they are introduced to students.
Blended and balanced learning
For a balanced and healthy classroom, it is important to unplug occasionally. Students likely use mobile devices at home and away from school, and if they are using them constantly in the classroom, they are constantly in front of a screen. Teachers need to apply standard teaching practises even when BYOD policies have been fully implemented in school.
Schools need to consider bandwidth and what impact bringing in BYOD policies will have on it. Internet use is likely to increase when classrooms implement BYOD policies as more students will be online at one time, compared to schools who use computer labs with desktop computers, where internet use is more sporadic.
Appropriate use of internet and devices
Schools and teachers must give students boundaries for device use while in the classroom. Conversations about appropriate use of technology and the internet must be ongoing. Open conversations about the dangers of the internet, social networking and online bullying are necessary to teach students about risk.