Implementing a bring-your-own-device policy in your classroom is a great way to work toward an integrated curriculum. The BYOD movement is becoming increasingly popular in both classrooms and the workforce. For teachers, BYOD—sometimes referred to as bring your own technology or BYOT—has two major benefits.
First off, it allows students to use devices they are already comfortable with, making it easier for them to effectively use technology for educational practices. Second, for educators who are not in a district that provides devices at a 1:1 ratio, it still allows them to create a blended curriculum.
Of course, effectively using the BYOD principle comes with a unique set of challenges. Without the standardization of devices, technical difficulties can vary from each student’s laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Furthermore, some students might be wary about using personal tech in school. Here are three strategies for making the most of a BYOD classroom.
Form a good relationship with your school’s IT staff
Before asking students to bring in their devices, talk with a member of your school’s IT staff and explain your goals and expectations. You’ll need a strong Wi-Fi connection and some overarching knowledge of how to troubleshoot devices. Your IT staff will be able to show you the basics of how to navigate different technologies and help you set up your classroom so your students can work efficiently.
Set practical expectations
Consider what you want your students to gain from working with their devices in the classroom. If you want to teach students how to research a topic online, you’ll need to make sure all of them have devices that can connect to the Internet. To ensure that your assignments don’t isolate any students, plan your lessons thoroughly and then discuss upcoming assignments with your students. This will give you time to address individual concerns and workshop ideas.
Use common features
Even if you love an incredible Ed Tech application from the Apple Store, remember that it might not be available across all devices. Students’ tablets and laptops may operate on platforms including Mac, Windows, Android, and more. Rather than looking for ways to implement technology that is device-specific, use common features that can be found universally. For example, most students’ devices will probably have Web browsers and social media access. Use these generic programs so that no one is left out.