Do you remember how the classrooms looked back when you were in school? The chalkboard or whiteboard, the wooden desk, the television set that was wheeled around from classroom to classroom on movie day, the chalk, etc. If you went to visit a classroom today, however, you might be disappointed to know that most of those things are now gone.
Why is that?
Well, the answers simple, technology. Each year as more and more students return to school, many of them are now equipped with their own computation tools. In other words, school shopping no longer involves buying new backpacks, clothes, and shoes. It involves buying the newest wearable technology, or the newest laptop, tablet, and/or smartphone. This is why schools across the country are now trying to test out more dynamic ways to connect with students, and makes learning things like STEM education a fun process for everyone.
The current generation of kids has grown up with technology all around them. They’ve seen it on television, they’ve heard about it, and they’ve used it in their classroom. Kids are at the point where they now expect technology to be everywhere, which is why they keep their beloved mobile devices on them throughout the day.
So is allowing students to bring their own devices to class really beneficial?
Although this might leave some room for debate, here’s a quick look at some of the pros about using the BYOD method in the learning environment.
A Child’s New Best Friend: Students these days are far more tech savvy than adults. That’s why they prefer to cling to their devices and absolutely hate the idea of parting with them.
The full concept behind the BYOD teaching method is to bring the love students have for technology into the classroom. In doing so, district officials hope to improve K-12 education and encourage young students to venture out into the world of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). So the more students interact with technology in a learning environment, the more likely they are to remember the lesson plans set up throughout the week. In other words, the love for technological devices is expected to help students prepare for upcoming lesson plans their teachers have arranged for them.
It Helps Students Remember the Lesson Plan: It should come to no surprise that students love using their personal devices. So why not use it to help them remember where you left off the day before? For teachers, trying to manage and run a whole class using similar methods is nearly impossible, especially if you’re covering a topic that involves science, technology, engineering, or mathematics. That’s why relying on this method has become a thing of the past.
In education today, it’s important for teachers to customize their lessons to reach out to each and every student, and this is where BYOD can help. In other words, handheld gadgets like the iPhone 8 allow students to comprehend and understand differentiated STEM instructions. Depending on the software, it can even allow them to choose how they’d like to learn the lesson plan. For instance, if they’re kinesthetic learners, they can learn about atoms and molecules through various body movements and visuals. On the other hand, if they’re auditory learners, they can learn about atoms and molecules by listening to a voice over. Using the BYOD method will also allow young students to embrace the ways they’re learning the material and will likely help them remember the lessons for a longer time.
Teachers Can Use Apps to Help with STEM Education: Speaking of mobile devices, apps are also an important part of K-12 learning. Throughout the course of the day, for example, teachers have to follow strict guidelines enforced by both the district and state. These guidelines essentially tell instructors where they should be in their lesson planning with their students.
Before, this meant that if a student didn’t understand something, they had to either stay after school, get a private tutor to help them, or just miss out on the material altogether. However, apps like the Project Budburst can sometimes offer students the best opportunity for them to learn difficult material, especially if they’re having a difficult time understanding the lesson. Aside from that, teachers can also use preferred apps to connect with students and their parents. So if a student has questions over the weekend or during a long break, they can simply message their teachers using a chat line available on the app. Or if the teacher’s hosting an upcoming STEM event they want parents to know about, they can reach out to parents and/or guardians using the same platform.
Learning Doesn’t End When the Bell Rings: One major issue with the traditional form of education is that it can do more harm than good. In other words, it can confine children within the four walls of the classroom. However, once BYOD is implemented in the learning environment, teachers and parents can expect the learning process to go beyond the classroom’s four corners.
Just how are parents supposed to cope with the risk of students having online access at school or on the way to school while teaching them about the dangers of the web? Start by supporting your child’s local district if they’re planning on introducing this learning style method soon. As parents, it’s important to remember that you aren’t the only one concerned about your child’s well-being. The school’s also responsible for protecting them, which means if this method is introduced, the school district will have to establish multiple ways to safeguard networks and protect students.
If you aren’t sure how to support your local district – or your child for that matter– throughout the process, be sure to ask for help. Not sure who to reach out to? Try talking to a school counselor. Generally speaking, when we think of this term, we envision students battling and overcoming deep depression. But that’s not always the case. In fact, counselors help students set and fulfill their academic, social, and career requirements, according to Wake Forest University. If you aren’t ready to speak with a counselor, talk to the schools IT professionals. They’ll be able to answer any security questions you might have and can give you tips on how to protect your child online when they’re not on campus.
In the end, by acknowledging that mobile devices – like smartphones, and tablets – can be used for educational and entertainment purposes, the doors for young students will continue to remain open as they lead the way into the 21st century.
Thanks for the read! Did I miss anything? What are some other pros – or cons – that might affect a child’s learning by adapting this method of teaching? Feel free to leave a comment below.