Teacher, Tracey Hume
Benefits of BYOD in the classroom are that it allows students to be able to manage their own learning at the stage that they're at so it allows for differentiation and particularly we've had an activity where when we've been doing English lessons and students don't understand the vocabulary, they're able to go straight onto their dictionary and find out what it means and that then helps them with comprehension of the actual activity that we're doing.
The students can then work in different level groups depending on the level of their learning so they can go off and work on tiered activities. It allows me to focus with a smaller group on the activity that they're doing. The students start to take a little bit of ownership of their learning as well with their own devices. It becomes a choice for them as well, so it is basically a learning tool so the students start to understand their weaknesses and their strengths and they actually make the decision themselves whether or not, depending on the learning activity, whether or not they choose to use the device or whether they choose to use the pencil and write in their book as well, and as I say to them, a pencil is also a very useful device, so it gives them that ownership and that control over how they want to learn and how they want to present their information.
The key challenges are like anything, any new software, any new program, is the learning on how to use the different applications or programs because we have multi-platforms in the classroom so we are not just working with iPads, we are working with Windows 8, we're working with Windows 7, so the challenge from the teaching point-of-view is to be able to have the curriculum work on all three of those different platforms.
Like anything, it's taking that time out in the initial stages to learn how the different applications work and then the students become more independent so it's the time factor. But it's like any new program that you do or any new teaching strategy, it's that initial setting up of the scaffolding and the framework before the students become automatic in knowing what to do.