Students having their own device throughout the school day enhances the learning environment. This is because it allows teachers to incorporate new teaching practices, instructional materials, activities, assessment tools, and communication methods.
With BYOD, teachers can:
- develop inquiry-based learning opportunities
- design innovative learning opportunities
- increase access to information
- provide timely feedback
- adjust instruction using flexible grouping
- promote blended learning
- facilitate a student-centered environment
- differentiate instruction in a more manageable fashion
- add relevance to learning
- improve communication
- invite parent involvement
- generate an authentic audience
BYOD Offers Inquiry-Based Learning Opportunities
Inquiry is the search for knowledge or truth by asking questions, examining facts, and synthesizing the information. It often includes an investigation into a problem to discover viable solutions with the search guided by a series of questions. BYOD provides students with productivity tools that aid in inquiry based activities. For example, they can use the technology to access information, analyze data, and summarize findings. Using a problem-solving model is a great way to engage learners.
BYOD Encourages Innovative Learning Opportunities
BYOD presents teachers with an opportunity to incorporate innovative teaching practices, instructional materials, activities, assessment tools, and communication methods that were previously not possible when access to technology was limited to scheduled computer lab times or booked mobile carts.
BYOD Increases Access to Information
Timely access to information improves learning. BYOD give students the ability to connect instantly to online resources that can help them develop understanding, complete a task, or solve a problem. Web based content also allows students the ability to access essential files from anywhere at any time using their device.
BYOD Enhances Timely Feedback
Feedback is a response to an activity that provides information about the effectiveness of the effort. It is one of the most powerful influences on achievement because it helps the learner adjust their actions to get a better result. Feedback can come in the form of advice, praise, and evaluation. BYOD allows teachers to use digital tools to improve the timeliness of their feedback. For example, electronic surveys and polls instantly tally results; online quizzes can be graded by the computer and the results automatically emailed to the student with the correct responses beside each incorrect answer; and drill and practice apps can immediately show the correct answer and adjust questions to suit the user.
BYOD Makes Flexible Grouping Easier
Flexible grouping is an instructional strategy used to organize students as a whole class, small groups, or partners, according to specific goals, activities, and individual needs. BYOD allows teachers to use digital tools to shift students seamlessly from one grouping situation to another. Team members can connect virtually which limits the disruption caused from having to move physically. This encourages teachers to design lessons and projects that have a collaborative component and to adjust groups often.
BYOD Promotes Blended Learning
Blended learning combines face-to-face instruction with computer-mediated activities that give students some control over the time, place, path, and/or pace of learning. Online content supplements classroom instruction by providing ongoing access to digital resources such as videos, calendars, quizzes, surveys, e-portfolios, and assignments. BYOD allows student to use their device to review concepts, stay organized, show what they have learned, submit assignments, track their achievement, and communicate with others at anytime from anywhere. Blended learning creates a classroom without walls.
BYOD Creates a Student Centered Environment
Student centered learning is an instructional approach in which students influence the content, activities, materials, and pace of instruction. The focus is upon students’ needs, abilities, interests, and learning styles. BYOD encourages teachers to create a student-centered environment because there is no homogeneity in the students’ owned devices or apps in the classroom. To integrate technology effectively into curriculum, activities need to be open-ended, and the teacher must shift from direct instruction to guided instruction by becoming a facilitator. A student centered environment increases engagement, which improves learning.
BYOD Allows Teachers to Differentiate Instruction in a More Manageable Fashion
Differentiated instruction supports individual differences in learning by adjusting the pace, content, assignment, materials, and assessment measures to accommodate each student’s unique abilities, needs, interests, and learning styles. It is a challenge for teachers to accommodate all learners. BYOD makes differentiated instruction easier because students can personalize their learning experiences by customizing their device or installing specialized apps to meet their needs. As well, there are drill and practice apps that will automatically adjust the subject matter, rate of information, feedback, and guidance given to each user. In addition, there are digital instructional materials (e-books, audio books, videos) that offer students a choice about how they want to access information. As well, productivity tools allow students to select how they want to demonstrate their learning such as through a written report, podcast, or blog post. BYOD makes differentiating instruction more manageable.
BYOD Adds Relevance to Learning
Relevance establishes a meaningful connection between learning and the student. It is one of the most important means of intrinsically motivating learners. Students enjoy using technology and they frequently use devices outside of school for entertainment or communication purposes. BYOD makes learning relevant because it extends the use of the student’s device or apps to schoolwork. In addition, BYOD establishes both personal and real-world relevance through student-centered learning, inquiry based projects, and differentiated instruction.
BYOD Improves Communication
Communication improves when students have ongoing access to technology throughout the school day. BYOD makes it easier for students to share resources or exchange ideas between peers, teachers, administration, parents, community members, experts, or people in the global village. This is because it offers apps that simplify sending messages, scheduling events, setting reminders, and collaboration.
BYOD Invites Parental Involvement
Parents are key stakeholders in education and their involvement is linked to greater student achievement. BYOD uses web apps that invite parents to engage actively in learning by sharing information, encouraging audience participation, or by exchanging ideas. For example, online learning management tools, such as Edmodo, offer membership into the school e-community to help parents stay informed about classroom activities, assignments, grades, and school events. Alternatively, blogging services, such as KidBlog.org have parents become subscribers that can read/comment on student posts.
BYOD Generates an Authentic Audience
An authentic audience is a real group of people that will view student work, such as peers, parents, community members, experts, or e-pals. BYOD offers access to digital tools that allows students to expand the audience from just the teacher. Technology allows them to express their ideas publically by posting content online to web pages, blogs, social media, or other services. This engages learners as it makes a task more relevant and personally meaningful.