Why should a primary school go to #BYOD

It’s been a while in the making, but this year we’re finally opening up our school to #BYOD.

For those who’ve not heard that acronym, it means Bring Your Own Device.

Yes, after years of banning Mobile phones – taking them off the children as they walk through the door and handing them back at the end of the day, we’re going to suddenly allow them into the classroom.

Here’s why.

  • Mobile Devices are really useful.
    • They act like a pen or a pencil, because you can create your own text and images in them.
    • They also act as an exercise book because you can store work and have it marked on them.
    • Finally they act as a text book because they are connected to the web. You can Google stuff, research stuff and even chat to experts to find out all sort of information.
  • Mobile Devices are really dangerous. We’ve had all sorts of incidents where children have used their mobile devices that they already own inappropriately. This does not happen in school, but irrespective of that it affects school performance. I’ve had to deal with cyberbullying, text broadcasting, threats, and mental abuse, even though none of these things happened in school. I can keep the children much safer if they bring their devices into the classroom, and are taught how to use them safely and appropriately.
  • Mobile Devices are really expensive. These are austerity times and so schools don’t have much money. Even though I value technology and appreciate its value to accelerate learning, it cannot compare with the role of the teacher in the classroom. Direct instruction and then effective feedback from a learned adult is far more valuable for a student’s learning than any device can ever be. I need to spend my school’s money on maintaining the adults we have, developing their subject knowledge and their pedagogy. I must not spend my school’s money on technology that has less of an impact on learning. #BYOD allows the families that have already spent their money on devices for them to be more fully utilised.

In my next post I’ll be moving from the why to how.

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