BYOT- what does it offer beyond the use of the school ipad?
Consider the following scenario: School A allows students to bring in their own devices and use what apps they like. School B provides iPads that students can take home and customize as they wish. Both schools provided filtered internet access. What then, is the advantage, beyond cost to the school, of BYOT?
The cost issue is not insignificant! See my thoughts on Who pays.
However, to answer your question, I think that there are potentially a number of other advantages of BYOT.
- The students are more likely to feel ownership of the devices - and this does seem to make a major difference to the level of use of devices and student engagement with them
- There may be a reduced expectation that the teacher help solve technical problems - if it is the school device/software then the students will quite reasonably expect the teacher to know how to use it and help them with the technical aspects, whereas if it is a BYOT device then there is no expectation that the teacher will know how to operate each specific device/software (or at least that seems to be the case in the schools I have been in where BYOT is in operation)
- Focussing on the intended outcomes rather than how the students achieve those outcomes (which device/software they use) potentially has two advantages:
- It allows students to tackle problems in their own way - using tools of their choosing - so allows for greater independence and personalisation
- It provides the opportunity to compare and contrast different approaches to solving a problem - which at the very least should develop digital technology capability
I'd be interested to know if anyone else has other advantages - or indeed disadvantages of BYOT ...