If you are in a school district that has recently adopted one, you have a good idea of how dramatically the practice shifts classroom structure. Here are five ways teachers can make the most out of a BYOD policy:
Rely on Web-Based Applications
Some commonly used examples include:
Don’t Let Tech Negatively Impact Your Teaching
Classroom content and applications should also be optimized for all devices. While web-based applications (as explained above) can help, your own supplemental material should be formatted to display properly. Consider how users interact with information on different devices; we tend to value scannability on mobile devices, and students will find content much more accessible if you keep this concept in mind. Formatting text into short paragraphs and using visual aids like graphs and illustrations can go a long way towards improving student engagement.
Of course, technology can serve as a distraction to instructors as well. Be wary if a promising application or technology replaces you as the instructor in some capacity, focuses on the consumption of content rather than content creation, or uses strictly defined predetermined standards and expected outcomes. In the modern classroom, there is a point of diminishing returns when it comes to edtech.
Teach Students to Take Advantage of New Features
If you want to find a contemporary example of this, a recent example can be found in the Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which introduced features like app pairing and screen off memos. Pairing commonly used programs, such as collaborative and messaging apps, is a no-brainer. The ability to make quick notes can be a great help during class as well. Students may not be aware of these features, to help students take full advantage of the technology they have.
Be Mindful of Security and Privacy Issues
In regards to privacy, cyberbullying is an obvious concern, but moderating student activity on personal devices is a thorny proposition; certain punitive measures could be legally interpreted as freedom of speech violations. However, if a student’s actions prevent academic progress for any pupil, or if the behavior takes place on school-provided technology, administrators and educators are well within their jurisdiction to monitor and intervene.
Advocate for BYOD Equity
However, as a teacher, you are a powerful voice for your students. By becoming a teacher advocate, you can contribute to major changes within your school district. Such instructors use their personal experiences in the classroom to inform and enhance advocacy efforts. As you work with students under a BYOD policy, take note of the correlation between student achievement and access to technology. Use these stories to speak out in support of your students’ needs. There are several possible positive outcomes to strive for, including increased school funding and community mobile device donations.
About the Author:
Bob Hand is a blogger from Boise, ID. He studied English with an emphasis on Secondary Education at the University of South Carolina, and continues to keep a pulse on current issues in education. His hobbies include reading and collecting vinyl records. You can follow him on Twitter @bob_hand567.