Technological innovations are bringing a plethora of opportunities in the education world, which bring along possibilities as well as challenges for the teachers and students. Basically, technology-driven education has two key issues to deal with – gadgets and electronic study mediums that are fast becoming obsolete and students who need to use these devices for education and not social networking. The introduction of BYOD program in schools aims to solve both these problems with ease and efficiency. On top of it, there are other advantages and benefits of embracing BYOD amongst students. However, we also need to consider the challenges, concerns, and policies to ensure complete success in its implementation and execution. Let’s look at them one by one.
Gen Y children are smarter than they were ever before, thanks to the influx of technologies like digitalization, virtualization, AR, VR and so on. Today’s students are well-read about the most relevant and current study-related apps, gadgets, devices, and websites, so much so that the teachers need to constantly keep pace with the updates of new technology trends. Schools and educational institutions are fast embracing the latest technological innovations that are bringing a revolution in the learning and education sector. In order to validate this observation, many firms have conducted different researches:
According to the numbers, students are increasingly seeing technology as the critical factor for their academic success and this acts as a decision-making factor while selecting colleges and universities, who meet their tech expectations and needs. IT admins of many schools and colleges have started to believe that students are the driving force in setting up the IT agenda of the institutes and they need to quickly adapt to be competitive. As a matter of fact, students prefer using their own smartphones, tablets or laptops for academic purposes as they have a certain level of user comfort. An IT strategy backed with a robust (Bring Your Own Device) BYOD policy becomes the answer.
The advantage for schools: BYOD implementation proves to be effective in lifting off the schools’ expensive device budgets. Students bringing their own devices at classrooms means freeing the schools from the responsibility of providing each device to each student. This enables the schools to focus on more crucial aspects like quality of education, communication, training, co curricular etc. In this case, schools can readily meet the requirements of students who cannot afford to bring their smartphones.
The advantage for students: The young minds are the most flexible and prudent when it comes to experimenting, exploring and discovering. BYOD is loved by students for the convenience, comfort, and flexibility it offers. Studying, sharing, researching and completing projects could never get easier than this as students experience an enhanced sense of engagement, curiosity, agility and interaction with the introduction of BYOD in schools. With improved collaboration, BYOD greatly reduces the learning curve.
After much consideration, when a school finally decides to implement BYOD for students, there is a full list of policies that the school needs to follow for beneficial BYOD execution.
Like a coin with two sides, BYOD too comes with certain concerns, especially when the users are students. Teachers majorly worry about the usage of electronic devices and smartphones as they have witnessed students getting distracted by them in the classroom. Although, certain restrictions can help these too can be violated by tech-savvy students who always find a way around these limitations. There are other sources of distractions such as inapt entertainment, games and social media.
On the other hand, implementing BYOD in schools might also add to the already existing gap between the low and high-income families followed by students distinguishing each other based on the devices they use. One thing leads to other and this may trigger bullying of low-income students by the others. However, these concerns could not diminish the prevalence of BYOD in schools, but the school authorities are expected to address these challenges as well while keeping in mind other elements like teacher training, community preference, student performance, and financial reasonability.
To sum up, BYOD comes with its associated risks, concerns, and possibilities – it will be the school’s responsibility to implement a BYOD Management strategy powered with apt policies, security regulations, guidelines, and best practices. Students should always be encouraged to use and leverage the latest technologies to stay abreast and learn faster. BYOD offers multiple scopes with an added feeling of familiarity as students find it easy to grab a lesson when they are taught through an already known medium.
Sonali has an extensive experience in content writing, marketing, and strategy and she has worked with companies where she was involved in the 360-degree content production and editing. An avid reader and animal lover, she loves to cook, take care of her plants and travel.