Pros & Cons of BYOD (Bring-Your-Own-Device) Programs in Educational Settings

After reading the two articles, How BYOD Programs Can Fuel Inquiry Learning by Katrina Schwartz from MindShift and 5 Reasons Why BYOD is a Bad Idea by Kelly Walsh from Emerging Ed Tech, I’ve spent some time reflecting about some of the benefits and drawbacks regarding students bringing their own technology devices to school.

This semester I am taking an educational technology class at Texas State University, in which I’m having an open mind to learn various ways to educate children. I want to become more familiar with some of the tools out there for teachers and students alike. My initial thought was how important it is for teachers to be proficient in technology used for presentations as a mean to keep education interesting, to alternate teaching and technology methods, and to be competent in all the new innovations. However, I realize to employ good educational technology, teachers need to utilize apps and/or programs that are collaborative in nature and incorporate the STUDENTS so they can work together.

There are SO many various technology tools that are collaborative and as a teacher it is really only necessary to be proficient in a few tools. It is important for the entire teaching team to utilizing the same tools, as it must be hectic for students if they need a different login account in each class period due to a lack of agreement among the teachers using technology. Maybe even the whole school should be on the same page where the students can continue with the same organization and collaborating programs year after year. For example, if blogging is utilized, keeping the same blogging program can save a lot of time, versus the students figuring out a new free “make your own blog” page each year or class. If the teachers want students to start a new blog each year, by utilizing the same program the students will be familiar with the program and the focus will be on generating the information to incorporate into the blog, rather than figuring out how to use the blog each year. Or better yet, the students can continue the same blog each year building a continuous blog for education purposes. But how do teachers and administrators know what app or program to use? What if there is something better and more user-friendly developed the following year?

Not all kids come with good habits. Many kids have fancy phones and tablets but use them for the sole purpose for games and social media.   New habits have to be formed for the students to realize the amount of resources they have access to and to be able to tune out temptation of games. Until new habits are created it can be challenging for teachers, as they might have to micro manage the students. Yet again, as in most things in school it must be taught. And once accountability with the use of technology is taught, a more mature way of cultivating ideas occurs among the students.

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