Reflections on the BYOD Classroom and Digital Citizenship


Photo courtesy of Flickr user jennip98

If you are reading this, then I hope you will be willing to share your Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) expertise with my new friend, Anita (@anitaasimpson), by leaving a comment.  She will be implementing a BYOD classroom in March and was hoping to get some advice to make the journey exciting but smooth, so to speak. For those unfamiliar with BYOD, it is a classroom environment where students are encouraged to bring their personal digital device (smartphone, laptop, tablet, and so on), to assist them with learning and sharing.

This initial blog post on BYOD will therefore be written with Anita in mind (and teachers considering or beginning the process of implementing BYOD).  The theme of this post will hopefully be one that provide opportunity for reflection, instead of simple advice.

Why do you want to go BYOD?

Your response to this simple yet loaded question could be a first hint as to whether or not creating a 1:1 classroom environment, is right for you.  If your responses fall in the realm of:  “I want to use technology to engage my students”, then perhaps you are not quite ready for BYOD.  In my humble opinion, pedagogy must lead the need for BYOD.  Students should already be engaged in class and BYOD allows for improved flow, sharing, collaboration, and efficiency when completing tasks.

In my case, I chose to go with the BYOD route to create a 1:1 device classroom because signing out the laptop cart and waiting for the students to login took way too much learning time away.  I also steadily noticed that I was needing the laptops everyday so students could use web 2.0 tools and our Learning Management System (LMS) – Moodle & Edmodo – to complete our tasks.  Tasks which often required students access to tools that allow them to collaborate at school or at home, to receive teacher feedback in a timely fashion, access the internet, and use modifiable documents or links that I have provided to them on our LMS.

We needed BYOD.

BYOD, is just part of how I teach everyday.  It is not an event.

What are your expectations of students when they interact with school, digitally? A question of digital citizenship.

In my classroom we have a saying that we follow with respect to BYOD, which is “Let’s be safe and productive.”  However, as a school we also adhere to the Tribes agreements of:  Mutual Respect, Attentive Listening, Appreciations, and The Right to Pass.  With the help of my Principal and Vice Principal.   Students, parents, and teachers have been made aware that school and classroom expectations are consequently extended to the digital realm too.  There is no threshold between the physical and digital classroom.

Digital presence in the classroom is not the Wild West.  It is ‘a part’ of, not ‘apart’ from, the classroom. How will you share this understanding with students and parents?  A recent post by @gcouros is useful when reflecting on this aspect of BYOD.

More BYOD reflections to come.  Hopefully you can help add to them by leaving a comment for Anita.

This entry was posted in Technology & Education and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Reflections on the BYOD Classroom and Digital Citizenship

  1. melitaryland says:

    Reblogged this on thinkingtechnology and commented:
    An interesting take on moving into the 21st century classroom.

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