Saturday, March 14, 2015

Finally I understand

I've been trying to figure out what it is about BYOD for schools that rubs me the wrong way; but I think I've finally figured out the problem.

Many schools have tried to change the terminology to BYOT (BYO Technology), BYOOD (BYO Other Device), BYOX (x being an unknown) and just about any other letter with a prefix of BYO.

I think the problem isn't in the last letter, it is in the O which we know stands for Own.  Why would we ever consider ownership as important.  My experience shows that most students consider a device their 'own' as soon as they personalise it.  As soon as the background on their PC is customised it is their 'own'  device.  Another problem with calling it the students 'own' device is most students up until they enter senior school would simply have a device as determined by their parents.  When they are empowered to make that decision it will most likely be whatever is trendy with their peers.

So in schools it would mostly be BYPD (Bring Your Parents Device) and that is fine.

I would like schools to label their personal technology programs as BYLD programs and move the focus from ownership to purpose.  What is BYLD?  It's Bring Your Learning Device.  I think this would place the focus squarely on learning and make everyone in the process become focused on learning not on any side issues which are at best distractions.

If you do run a true program where you don't offer any guidance for parents as to the type of device which should be bought in to your school then BYOD is fine because you're not even specifying the purpose of the device.  If you have any other style of program it should be a BYLD program and you are therefore trying to improve learning with a device of some sort.