Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Bringing BYOD to the Classroom #BYOD #334

As Colleges grow and attract more students, there is inevitable pressure of classroom availability. Some classes are moved on-line, while Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) offers the opportunity to turn ordinary classrooms into computer labs. This semester I am holding a class in an old style tiered lecture theatre where students are bringing in their own laptops instead of using computers in a lab. I'll be sure to report here on this throughout the semester. 

The Open University published a report a couple of years ago: Innovating Pedagogy 2014, in which it states that "BYOD could be considered as enriching and extending existing teaching methods" and that it "is a means to introduce everyday social learning to the classroom". Up to now, I and many of my colleagues work in a traditional controlled classroom environment. In a computer lab everybody has the same access to the same software and other resources. It is much easier to plan a lesson if everyone is using the same device. When students bring their own - things change. For example - last evening in my BYOD class some students asked how to do things in Excel using a Mac (which I have never seen, never mind use). Others used Google Docs instead of Excel and I found myself unable to answer their questions. For the first time in a few years I felt I was not in control in a class, and I felt foolish and unprepared for this to happen.

Image Source: The Workflow.
BYOD is a new challenge for me and I hope that my students and I can work together to make things work for an "enriching experience". Like anyone who walks into a class to deliver a lesson - we like everything to "just work", and not to be concerned with things like Google Docs on a Mac being used when you planned Excel on a PC. BYOD is here to stay - let's hope we are ready for it.

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