The future of Ed Tech is “Bring Your Own Device”, (BYOD), and schools will more than likely move away from providing devices for students sooner than later. While BYOD is far too radical for many school districts at this time, it is inevitable that this is the future. The sooner districts embrace this future and begin to plan for it, the more effective this transition will be.
Today, while attending EdCampChicago, BYOD was a hot topic. I repeatedly heard, “my school bans student owned technology and it won’t change anytime soon.” While the technology may be banned, it has not prevented BYOD! The sooner we can stop pretending that we have truly banned student owned technology the better.
The effort to ban personal mobile technology is simply not cost-effective when you consider hidden costs such as human labor, the ongoing negative impact upon school culture and the prevention of effective learning in the 21st century. Instead of dealing with these issues proactively, banning continues to prolong the inevitable.
We all know technology changes rapidly but I am not sure that we really have a good perspective on those changes that have taken place in our lifetime and in our schools. We are judging the change within the change itself and that is really tough to do.
How are we going to continue to truly ban all of this “student owned” technology in schools? Take a look at the latest iPod Watch. Take a look at sites like Advanced Intelligence and think about the ability to hide technology. Will clothing be the future one-to-one device? Isn’t it time to stop pretending that we can really ban it?
True BYOD will never be a solution for schools that continue to focus on standardization of hardware and applications. Reasons for one-to-one devices have morphed over the years as we do not need devices to do it all. Please keep in mind that BYOD does not proclude “targeted purchasing” of technology within a school system. Schools will continue to need specialized equipment for specific learning needs.
Let’s face it, human beings tend to take better care of something they own versus something they rent. It is time to give our students ownership over their learning through the use of their own devices.
I plan on taking a closer look at BYOD through my Sunday posts over the next several weeks. Please let me know what your thoughts are on the BYOD movement, if you have a successful model, issues to consider, and anything else that is important to consider.
While there are many issues surrounding effective use of technology in the classroom, I am convinced that the issues surrounding BYOD are really at the core of ineffective integration of technology in the classroom. The lessons we can explore surrounding this issue can really paint a picture of the entire ed tech movement. As Jim says, “It is time to give up control of Ed Tech.”