I’ve spent a lot of time with the idea of a BYOD learning environment, and I’m influenced greatly by two ideas that seem to be on the opposite ends of the spectrum:
- Student feedback that consistently supports a bring your own device because they want to select the device that best meets their needs
- Teacher feedback that consistently supports a bring a standard device because they want a consistent learning experience for all students
While both speak to the positives of the other way, their recommendations are fairly consistent: students want choice and teachers want a standard. And that is why I’ve wrestled with an idea of how to reshape both concepts to create an environment that draws upon the strengths of both while limiting the drawbacks.
So this is VERY rough sketch of an idea floating around my head that reshape BYOD into a Combine Our Device (COD) approach.
Essentially, a C.O.D. environment combines our collective devices: a standard device that everyone must have with a personal device that students choose to use based upon their individual needs. And this blended concept also leverages the ideas of a second screen and BYO3, the value of choice, and the importance of equal access to critical learning resources.
Device One: Digital Learning Resources Device
While consumption is fraught with negative connotations, this device would serve to create a common platform for consumption and interaction with digital learning resources. This isn’t at the expense of production but in conjunction with it.
The following is an in development list of important features of a Digital Learning Resources Device, but an organization’s vision for learning would surely add/change/cut pieces on this list:
- prosumption potential
- digital learning resources accessibility
- access features for customizations and adjustment
- mobile and agile
- browser and app centric learning
- fiscally viable
Device Two: Personal Device
This focuses on students leveraging their personal device that best meets their learning needs. In other words, it maintains a BYOD philosophy that encourages students to use the devices they have to maximize what they need for their own learning. For example, if a student felt an assignment would be better created/produced utilizing his or her personal device, the student would have that opportunity to leverage it.
And this would be a purely optional device given each student would have the Digital Learning Resources Device.
“What about students that don’t have a personal device and the learning gap this creates between them and those students with personal devices”. This is a legitimate issue so let’s consider a few things:
- First, this is the point of Device One. It reduces the access gap and provides a common experience for all students to use and interact with learning resources.
- Second, students that have a personal device are going to use these at home if they find it benefits their learning more than Device One. Thus, we can acknowledge this or pretend it isn’t there. I prefer to acknowledge it and promote students bringing their personal devices to school to meet individual learning needs. But this does mean…
- Third, students that don’t have a personal device could be supported through school resources. This is where a Bundled Device (ex. a Chromebook and a Nexus 7) approach for socio-economically disadvantaged students is important.
This post has been more of an effort to get these ideas on “paper”, so I can get feedback and begin cleaning up a concept I think has tremendous potential. I fully admit that this is probably more of a discussion at the secondary level, and this could be a moot point with the ever-growing maturity of tablets.
With those things in mind, what are your thoughts? Concerns? Positives? Does a C.O.D. reshape B.Y.O.D. in a valuable way?