If anything, during the past twenty years, teachers have tried and failed to stop pupils bringing their phones to school, but the tech tide is turning. Even early years classrooms are kitted out with laptops and tablets for toddlers. Not long ago, schools started providing pupils with laptops and tablets they could take home; now pupils can bring their own to school. So how can we maximise the benefits of Bring Your Own Device’ education?
Reduce distraction, improve focus
The risk of using laptops or tablets in class- whether they were brought in by the student or provided by the school- is how much of a distraction they can prove to be. The internet is full of wonders like YouTube, Facebook and Reddit that are time-sinks for students and professionals alike. Before you introduce BYOD in classrooms, make sure that you’re prepared for this by blocking access to certain websites or Apps that are more trouble in the classroom than they’re worth. Yes- even if it means that you can’t go on Facebook during class! We know full well that you do…
Make your classes interactive and media-driven
If your school is truly intent on making BYOD a success, one way of taking advantage of this is to move away from old fashioned lectures and tests. BYOD in schools gives you the opportunity to tailor your classes to every student by making them interactive and media driven, so that they can follow along and learn at their own pace. For younger children, media in class can help their imaginations run riot, and it keeps older children engaged through self-managed learning too. Using a VLE, Prezi or similar is a great way to achieve this and avoid a ‘one speed fits all’ approach.
Encourage pupils to do their own research
With the whole Web at their fingertips, you can set your pupils assignments in class that they can research for themselves. Not only does this teach learners to study and research on their own, which is great preparation for higher education, but it gives them the opportunity to personalise their learning. Let’s say that as a History teacher, you ask each pupil to research something interesting about the Roman Empire: maybe one thinks that gladiators were cool (and they were!), but maybe another is more interested in the frankly excessive Roman pantheon of gods. BYOD can let each pupil learn about what they want individually and then share with rest of the group.