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Bring your own

Posted on: May 7, 2012

BYOD by ajleon, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic License  by  ajleon 

BYOD = bring your own device

BYOT = bring your own technology

BYOL = bring your own learning

Those acronyms might become as common phrase as “flipped classroom” soon. All point to schools allowing students to bring the devices that they already have for use in classrooms.

Why? To leverage on what students already have and use, to reduce the cost of providing a device for every student, and to create sense of ownership of learning.

Opponents of the BYO movement argue that schools might wriggle out of their responsibility of providing these resources, but they are missing the point. Who says the school must provide these things? Should it be providing school bags, pencils, and uniforms as well? The lines have already been redrawn because of a generation of haves.

What of the have-nots? The proponents of BYO factor that in. Those who have bring what they have. Those who do not are lent one or get to use shared resources. The school saves some money and the have-nots now have.

The folks who oppose BYO at the end of this article do not get it. One expert claimed that BYO was “like asking them to pay for the amount of bandwidth students need to do their work”. Uhh, don’t we do that already?

Two other experts claimed that BYO made the digital divide more obvious and one mentioned how school uniforms were meant to even the score. Kids are not stupid. They know who IS or IS NOT and who HAS or HAS NOT even if they have uniforms.

The point of BYO is to bring what you have and to be provided with one if you do not own a suitable device. The point of BYO is to leverage on the sense of ownership of technology and bridge that to the ownership of learning.

Schools are not going to dish out these devices. We need to do what workplaces are already doing by encouraging workers to BYOD.

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