Evidence: BYOD Seminar Website

OLTD Learning Outcomes:

  • Research and identify emerging technologies with educational applications not yet adopted by mainstream education or in early adoption phases.
  • Consider potential implementation opportunities and challenges of emerging technologies.

Charlene Stewart, Stephanie Boychuk and I facilitated a seminar on BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) where we asked our participants to examine the pros and cons to students bringing and using their own devices in class. Allowing students to bring their own devices to class, and use them, is an example of disruptive innovation in education.  With any new innovation there are both benefits and challenges.

One challenge that I had about this topic was I knew very little about it myself! As we planned the seminar (our planning document can be seen on the website) we quickly learned about the topic. Thankfully, one our cohort was familiar with the topic and and allowed us to interview him (full interview can be read on the website).

Over all I am please with how the seminar went. We asked participants to update the website themselves. We also asked them to cross post in our Google + community so the rest of our cohort could participate if they wished. If I were to do a similar seminar, I would have a place on the website for participates to list there pros & cons about the topic, as well as the rest of the activities.

My opinion on BYOD? I love the idea. I love letting students take more control over their learning. I love the idea of students all working on the same document (without using a blackboard, really, who loves chalk all over their hands, and few like writing at the front of the room) at the same time. Having personal access to the knowledge of the world is a game-changer in education. The thought of going paperless as students could access all materials, texts, PowerPoints etc brings joy to me.

My difficulty is I teach in Adult Basic Education at Vancouver Island University. Most students (71%) taking upgrading courses live under the poverty line despite working while attending school. Not all of my students have or can afford their own device. Unlike the forestry department, I do not feel that I can make having a device mandatory. Students can borrow a textbook. It is unlikely that we will have a device-borrowing system soon (though it would be wonderful). Requiring a device would be a huge barrier to some.

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