Smartphones and tablets have taken educational technology into a league of its own. Though BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) and mobile integration were initially met with much scepticism, many schools have now given in to the amazing benefits. Let’s have a closer look at the benefits and potential risks.
1. Device familiarity
As the students bring devices they are already familiar with, no time is wasted in getting to know the device. They can enroll the devices and start learning right away.
2. Unlimited information
With their smart devices connected to the school Wi-Fi network, students have access to all the information they want, right at their fingertips.
3. BYOD in Schools – Takes the boring out of education
Learning through their beloved gadgets is more engaging and fun. Interactive apps and content make students glued to their devices.
4. Seamless collaboration
BYOD helps students work together and share content with ease. When it comes to group projects, collaboration is simple and effective.
5. Beyond textbooks
Students can break-free of the outdated textbooks and access the most up-to-date information on any topic.
6. Anytime, anywhere learning
With smart devices in hand, school hours doesn’t matter any more. Students can keep on learning on their own.
7. Cost savings
Allowing BYOD can save the school a significant amount of money. Providing every student a unique device is no small challenge.
8. High-end devices
Students tend to bring cutting-edge devices. Both students and teachers benefit from the enhanced experience.
9. Personalised learning
With BYOD in place, teachers can easily meet the different learning needs. With highly personalized education through their devices, each student can learn at their own pace.
10. Easier evaluation
BYOD helps teachers grade the assignments and tests much easier. With dedicated apps, teachers can look up online scores and see how well their students are doing.
The positives do not end there. However, let’s not overlook these challenges.
1. Theft and loss
The more the valuable stuff students bring to school, the more the chance of theft. Kids losing expensive devices at school don’t bode well with the parents.
2. Overloading the network
Many students will bring more than one device. Connecting all of them to the school Wi-Fi may weigh down the network.
Malicious apps installed on a student’s device may cause security vulnerabilities on other devices or invite more web based threats.
It is easier to get distracted while working on a BYOD device. As there are fewer restrictions, students might end up playing games or browsing.
5. Apps availability
The dedicated learning apps may not support all platforms and thus not necessarily be available for all the devices students bring to school.
6. The digital divide
BYOD may highlight the financial disparities between the students. Students who bring low-end tablets can get bullied and may ultimately miss out on the learning experience.
Despite these challenges, it’s worth every bit going BYOD. Not because it’s in trend but because it helps prepare our students and teachers for the future, one of endless knowledge and possibilities.