Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Bring Your Own Device to Class #BYOD #256

It sounds good - students can bring their own laptop to class. No need for expensive computer laboratories and students can work in their own environment with their own laptops. This semester I have had my first ever BYOD class - it was not without its problems despite the best efforts of the College.

The first problem is that many students brought laptops to class that did not meet the specifications set out for the class. PCs were recommended, but several students brought Macs. Some computers were old. Some brought laptops from work that they didn't have admin rights to. In short - not all met the specifications. But I don't need high powered computers for my classes - I use mostly Excel, R Studio, and SPSS. Unfortunately SPSS proved to be a problem as students needed to access something called Citrix in order to be able to use it. Some could do this, while others couldn't. I could not hold an in-class test that required SPSS - assessment had to change. I did not like this.

Another problem was connectivity. Several students could not access the College's WiFi network, and used their phones to tether laptops for connectivity. As a consequence, I had to allow mobile phones in an in-class test! Why they could not connect, I don't know.

Why does this happen? I am not a learning technology management specialist - I don't have the time in class to help a student connect to the network. I was not prepared for the problems that arose - especially in the first 3 to 4 weeks of the semester. I will of course be better informed next year.

Please note: the problems mentioned above are based on my own personal experiences in my own classes only.

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