BYOD Improves Student Learning

Students having their own computing device throughout the school day transforms learning. With BYOD in place, a teacher can incorporate new teaching practices, instructional materials, activities, assessment tools, and communication methods that were previously not possible. This change has the capacity to alter dramatically student experiences. Discover the educational value of BYOD and the ways in which this policy can improve learning.

BYOD and schools

Did you know? BYOD:

  • fosters collaboration
  • develops higher level thinking skills
  • advances the transfer of learning to new situations
  • supports self-directed learning
  • develops digital citizenship
  • encourages responsibility
  • improves student engagement
  • increases expertise in using technology
  • amplifies creativity

BYOD Fosters Collaboration

Collaboration is a process where two or more people work together to reach a common goal, and it is prevalent in the workplace. Mobile devices make it easier for students to cooperate in partners, small groups, or as a whole group. They can use digital tools to acquire information, exchange ideas, share resources, and jointly create original works. Working together benefits students as they can build on team members’ abilities and interests. As well, collaboration promotes participation, fosters responsibility, improves social skills, and prepares students for the future.

BYOD Develops Higher Level Thinking Skills

Higher order thinking engages analysis, evaluation, and synthesis skills to create new information that requires more cognitive processing than lower order thinking which is limited to the recall, comprehension, and use of information. BYOD provides ongoing access to digital tools that can process information in a more complex manner. For example, the creation of flowcharts, surveys, simulations, digital stories, and blog discussions are just some of the ways technology can develop higher order thinking in students.

BYOD Advances the Transfer of Learning to New Situations

A transfer of learning happens when knowledge or skills acquired from a previous experience are applied to a novel context. Much of the school day is compartmentalized into segmented subject areas, often with the content being taught by different teachers. Mobile devices make it possible for students to apply the same digital tools to new tasks, thus encouraging a transfer of learning. As well, teachers are able to take advantage of the technology to adopt an interdisciplinary approach. An interdisciplinary approach connects learning objectives from two or more academic fields of study. Having a mobile device gives students access to resources that combine knowledge and skills from multiple subject areas such as language arts, mathematics, geography, history, science, and social studies. This encourages the transfer of learning to new situations.

BYOD Supports Self Directed Learning

Self directed learning is when students are able to independently undertake a task and make judgments without the direction of a teacher. Working independently can often be challenging, even for the brightest students. However, having their own device motivates students to take control of their learning. This is because it provides them with apps to plan and organize ideas, monitor progress, and carry out the assignment with the teacher assuming the role of a facilitator. BYOD promotes greater independence.

BYOD Develops Digital Citizenship

Digital citizenship is norms of responsible behavior related to the appropriate use of technology. It encompasses digital literacy, ethics, etiquette, and online safety. BYOD requires students to take ownership for their behavior and monitor their online reputation. This is an important aspect of participating in today’s world.

BYOD Encourages Responsibility

Responsibility involves being personally accountable and answerable for one’s actions and decisions. In one way, having a mobile device reduces responsibility. For example, required assignments, student files, e-books, instructional materials, and apps are typically stored online making it difficult to forget these items at home or school. However, BYOD introduces new responsibilities. Students must have a device in good working order to access online resources. Moreover, they must be vigilant in its care to make sure they have it each day. This requires them to charge it, transport it safely, and protect it from theft or damage. Students are likely to be more responsible when the device is their own, in comparison to when it belongs to the school.

BYOD for schools

BYOD Improves Student Engagement

Engagement happens when a student becomes actively involved in learning demonstrated by their willingness to participate, focused attention towards the task, persistent efforts despite challenges, and pride in their accomplishments. Students like using their mobile devices and this often results in an increase in engagement towards school related task that have a technology component. In addition, since BYOD also encourages innovative teaching practice, it means that the delivery method of instruction and assignments are more relevant, which further motivates students to engage. Students who are engaged are more likely to be successful learners.

BYOD Increases Expertise in Using Technology

Having a mobile device to use every day for learning is one way to develop strong technology skills. Increased access allows students to gain expertise in their ability to use productivity tools competently. However, another advantage to BYOD is the benefit that comes from the exposure to a range of devices. Diversity increases students’ exposure to different types of hardware and software. Instead, of a homogenous learning environment, students are exposed to laptops, tablets, smartphones, and more! This variety helps them to understand which device or app is best suited for completing a task. As well, it forces them to learn how to adapt their particular device to meet the learning objectives. This develops essential skills that are beneficial in the 21st century.

BYOD Amplifies Creativity

Creativity is the use of imagination to develop original ideas, products, or solutions. BYOD boosts creativity because technology provides access to information, perspectives, and media that were previously unavailable. Mobile devices encourage students to use digital resources in novel ways. In addition, since technology evolves, students are continually discovering new avenues for creativity.

Wordle: BYOD Improves Student Learning

Christa Love

About Christa Love

Christa Love, Vice President - Christa Love has a passion for education and technology. A graduate from Brock University she has an Honors Bachelor of Arts in Child Development, Bachelor of Education in Primary and Junior divisions, and Masters of Education in the area of Curriculum Studies. Her work at TechnoKids Inc. began more than ten years ago as an instructor at a local learning center. Since that time she has operated the summer camp program, taught at the research and development center at John Knox Christian School, trained educators throughout the province on issues related to technology integration, and overseen the curriculum development of hundreds of technology projects. In recent years, Christa has become the vice president of TechnoKids Inc.