BYOD: What’s in a device?

I have had two great opportunities to talk about Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to support student learning — at the Brock U.Teaching with Technology Showcase (Brock U Faculty of Education) and at the Educon 2.4 event.

The discussions covered considerable territory – benefits, challenges and implications for both pre-service and existing teacher training. In my organization, BYOD is certainly a strategy intended to augment access and not replace Board owned equipment. From an IT perspective, building the right infrastructure with sufficient capacity is a critical path forward to support student learning.

There is certainly a wide range of devices that could support learning. I have been pondering the desired functionality needed in any device to support student learning. Here is my initial take on a function list.

Notes/read:  take notes, read common file formats such as pdf and ebook files,

Web enabled: browse web (consume info, research), bookmark, interact with online databases, RSS

Share/Collaborate: write/publish a blog, support wiki use, google docs etc

Digital StoryTelling: capture audio, video, combine with text

Communicate: email, support for standard Social Media tools (FB/Twitter/G+) etc.

Other: good battery life, strong wifi signal

I need your feedback. How thorough is my list? What is missing? Should anything come off the list? What should be added?

Please leave a comment with your ideas, or share an idea with me on Twitter.


6 thoughts on “BYOD: What’s in a device?”

  1. I really enjoyed this post Mark. One of the biggest arguments for BYOD is that students would take advantage of their devices by playing games or social media rather then paying attention in class. I feel that as teachers this is a great opportunity to teach our students respectful and appropriate use of BYOD. As teachers it is our responsibility to prepare children for the future and many workplaces today support BYOD. It is just a matter of time before BYOD is a necessity in all business and professional workplaces.
    Another positive factor would be that BYOD could be used for delivering ebooks and would potentially be cost efficient for the school. Fewer school devices and resources would be needed and money could saved for other necessities the school might have.


  2. I also agree with Candace. BYOD is a perfect opportunity to teach students important digital citizenship skills. Along with good classroom management, this can make for an engaging learning environment.

    Don’t forget all the wonderful musical possibilities, particularly with Garageband on the iPad. This would be a great composition tool.

  3. That’s a comprehensive list of key features Mark. Providing BYOD access to school wi-fi networks sounds like an enlightened move to me. Good to hear that Board equipment will still be available. What kind of equipment will that be and will it include take home equipment? I’m a fan of netbooks/notebooks (PC or Mac) for primary 1:1 devices, but don’t believe tablets like the iPad offer sufficient creative potential to be primary tools. At this early stage of their evolution, they make great secondary tools for those who already have a netbook or notebook.

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