Why Is BYOT Important?

 

FCHSThere are educators who still need to be convinced that their classroom/school/system can no longer avoid the BYOT wave.  Those who advocate for student use of student technology must be prepared to present the reluctant adopters with clear and concise reasons why this initiative is best for student learning.  I have listed below a few ideas for consideration that do not even begin to touch upon the instructional gain when students are engaged with BYOT.

First, we must prepare our students for their future rather than our past.  Technology and the ease of use with technology is already mandatory in most work places.  We must allow our students many opportunities to use technology for learning in what is now their workplace.  We must give them space and time to make mistakes while developing responsible use patterns and deeper understanding of the possibilities created when technology is used.

Second, we must capture our students’ attention and foster the desire within them to learn.  Educators today have a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with students but if they are not listening to us we have lost the opportunity for them to learn from us.  Technology is already an important tool that captures the attention of our students.

Third, BYOT actually promotes equity of devices within a school where computers are not 1:1.  Students who do not bring a device to school have more access to school owned devices when BYOT is in place.  It is also true that students with devices are much more comfortable using their own technology which facilitates focusing on the work rather than learning how to use a particular device.

And, we must also take into consideration the cost of upgrading and supplying school owned devices.  We have come a long way from the early days of system supported desktops for student use.  We know that as soon as a machine is purchased it is out of date.  With educational budgets tightening, BYOT is a monetary boost.

Laura Fowler

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