What is BYOD and how can it help students learn? We break down the top 10 benefits of bringing mobile technology into the classroom.

Group of students look at a laptop in an outdoor setting.

From homes and offices to schools and public spaces, mobile technology is integrated in our daily lives. Now it’s quickly becoming a part of the school environment, and educators—and students—are catching on.

Once considered taboo in the classroom, mobile devices are now growing more welcome in schools, and teachers are encouraging students to use them. This growing nationwide trend, dubbed BYOD, is bringing educational technology to the front of the class—and keeping it there.

What is BYOD?

BYOD is an acronym for “bring your own device.” This policy, which is being instituted in schools around the country, allows students in both elementary and secondary schools to use their smartphones, tablets, and laptops in the classroom.

What are the benefits of BYOD?

From engagement to creativity, there’s no shortage of benefits when it comes to BYOD—for students and educators alike. Of course, these initiatives raise questions, too. If you’re a teacher, should you incorporate this educational technology into your classroom? And if you’re a parent of a school-aged child, should you encourage your child’s school to incorporate this kind of technology in education, or allow your child to participate?

To help you decide, here are 10 of the top advantages of the BYOD classroom:

  1. Creativity
    Through functions such as video and audio recording, mobile devices give educators more tools to encourage innovation and creativity, enabling students to explore subjects in exciting, relatable ways.

  2. Organization
    BYOD policies also make it easy for students to stay organized, especially as they get older and their education becomes more complex. Students can quickly enter due dates into mobile calendars, set alerts for assignments and tests, and much more.

  3. Collaboration
    Mobile devices lend themselves to natural in-class collaboration. With BYOD policies in place, students can research in-class assignments side by side, and new apps enable them to comment on each other’s work.

  4. Research
    For some students, the days of heading to the library or computer lab for classroom research are over. Mobile devices enable students to conduct instantaneous research from their desks. Of course, there’s plenty of debate about the advantages and disadvantages of “instant information gratification,” so parents and educators alike may prefer to blend traditional research methods with more current approaches.

  5. Scholarly Pursuits
    With BYOD policies in place, and under the supervision of teachers, students learn that they can use their mobile devices for so much more than communicating with friends and posting to social media. It’s also an opportunity to engage students in discussions about the implications of their online habits, both in learning and in life.

  6. Engagement
    Students often forget their textbooks but may seem surgically attached to their phones. Young people (like many of their adult counterparts) love their mobile devices. Mobile technology in education gets students engaged on their own terms.

  7. Comfort
    Whether they’re in elementary, middle, or high school, today’s students have a natural comfort with mobile technologies, making them more likely to use them—and succeed with them—in classes with BYOD policies in place.

  8. Confidence
    With comfort comes confidence, something that many students lack when it comes to academics. BYOD initiatives can help uncertain students jump right into academics—a smartphone or tablet may feel far less intimidating than a heavy textbook, even if the substance is the same.

  9. Accessibility
    Today’s mobile devices can be used as pocket-sized computers. From pulling up documents to sending e-mails, BYOD initiatives enable students to use the educational technology many of them already have in their backpacks.

  10. Apps
    From social studies to earth science, there’s a mobile app for nearly every subject. BYOD policies enable educators to incorporate innovative new app-based learning into the classroom.

Interested in BYOD programs and other uses of technology in education? Consider an educational technology degree.

Whether you pursue your degree on campus or online, educational technology degrees—often in the form of an EdS (Education Specialist) degree or graduate certificate—will help you apply the latest educational technologies to improve instruction and learning across a wide range of learning environments.

Walden University, a National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)-accredited university, offers a wide range of online education degrees that can prepare you to meet today’s PreK–12 challenges with innovative technologies that inspire students and educators alike.

Walden University is accredited by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). This accreditation covers initial teacher preparation programs and advanced educator preparation programs. As a recognized standard of excellence in professional education for the preparation of teachers, administrators, and other preK–12 school professionals, NCATE accreditation ensures that the institution has met rigorous national standards set by the profession and members of the public. However, the accreditation does not include individual education courses offered to preK–12 educators for professional development, relicensure, or other purposes.

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