The use of mobile devices by young people is surging, and schools that continue banning their students from using their own technology inside the school gates will be swamped, according to the authors of a new ACER Press book.
Co-author of the book on the Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) model in schools, Mal Lee, said, ‘The question is not whether the BYOT wave comes over schools, but how schools can ride that wave.’
Innovative schools are now harnessing mobile technologies for learning. The keys to doing that are addressed in Bring Your Own Technology: The BYOT guide for schools and families written by Lee and co-author Martin Levins, published by the Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and launched by Professor Michael Hough at the Leading a Digital School Conference on the Gold Coast in September.
‘Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is a school technology resourcing model where the home and the school collaborate in extending children and young people’s 24/7/365 use of their own digital technologies into the classroom,’ explained Lee.
‘The technology that young people use intimately as a normal part of their daily lives and in their everyday learning and self teaching will in the not too distant future become a normal part of classroom teaching,’ Lee said.
According to Michael Hough, the book investigates the global trends, shows what BYOT looks like in a group of pathfinding schools in Australia and beyond, and provides key lessons for all schools, just as the BYOT wave is hitting.
The Cisco Visual Networking Index Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update indicates the scale of that wave. According to Cisco, there are now 17 billion devices connected to the internet, with the rapid growth being in mobile devices, and by the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth.
Bring Your Own Technology explains how schools can ready themselves to ride that wave by pursuing individual school solutions, ensuring equity, normalising the use of digital technologies in teaching, developing close collaboration between the home and school, ceding some control over technology to students and ensuring they have in place the relevant technological infrastructure. ■
Further information: Bring Your Own Technology: The BYOT guide for schools and families (ACER Press 2012) can be purchased from the ACER Online Shop or by contacting customer service on 1800 338 402 or via email on firstname.lastname@example.org.