When BYOD is a mistake.

At a recent conference I was intrigued by the title of a Panel Discussion which purported to discuss BYOD and its ramifications for schools.

Imagine my disappointment to find a Microsoft representative there and two heads of schools who were running 1 to 1 device programs.

This was described as BYOD – with designated device.  The idea being the the school designates the device and students have to go out and by it. In what sense is this the student “own device”?

The Microsoft representative predictably used his stock phrase BYOD = Bring Your Own Disaster.  Well Microsoft should know about disaster judging by the reception of Windows 8 and associated tablets.  I can only say that at The Southport School BYOD has been an unqualified success.

BYOT (Bring Your Own Tech) is probably then a better term if BYOD is going to be routinely hijacked by vendors and schools running 1 to 1 device programs.  These programs may well move schools along the path towards the use of technology to change the pedagogy in the classroom.  However, only when we lose the focus on a technology or piece of software will we finally direct our attention fully to the processes taking place in the classroom rather than the technology in use there.

In the meantime, as we watch the online web-based tools for creating content get better and better it is only a matter of time before everyone is simply asked to Bring A Browser of their own choice whatever the hardware used to support it.

End of rant.

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