BYOT in theory sounds like an amazing wa…

BYOT in theory sounds like an amazing wave in education and in grad 8- 12 schools. Your student would essentially always have a device for them to participate in your class whether it be to check google classroom to participating in an edpuzzle and possibly checking their digital textbook. Imagine being able to integrate tech into your classroom 24/7 without the stress of having to book computer carts. Especially in the covid world that we live in this would be extremely beneficial not having to worry about sanitizing equipment after every use. I was super pumped to be placed in a practicum school where BYOT was a thing I had thought of all the positives and how it would be so effective and time saving thinking I would have more instructional time and meaningful lessons. What I had failed to realize was all the potential downfalls. Speaking from an 8-12 perspective, several things can go wrong. Some of my favourites: “my computer is dead.” “ I forgot my computer/ charger” “My computer is broken”. The list goes on. I taught in a rural school and we had more days without wifi than we did with wifi so that posed a problem accessing the sites I wanted to reach. When teaching with technology in your classroom the greatest asset you need to have is flexibility within your lesson but that is more difficult when a 1/4 of the class can participate in the regular lesson and the other half is struggling to find their page in the textbook. Lastly I feel like the biggest downfall of BYOT is that the playing field is not even. I feel that it deepens the divide in the assess students have to education. Some students roll up with a brand new mac laptop that is super fast and effective and their elbow buddy has a computer that barely works. One computer turns on in 5 seconds and the other takes half the class and this in turn puts them behind right from the start. I love the concept of BYOT but the access to adequate technology that allows all kids to be on a level playing field is tough to find unless kids all received the same laptop. I think there’s potential for this to be successful if your school division vaubaled tech and had a good budget for the same laptops, spares in the library and chargers on hand in the classroom. I wouldn’t rule it out, but it is not all rainbows and sunshine.