The rapid development capacities and expansion of wireless networks continually reshape the world. We now expect connectivity wherever we are and if you’re like me, am frustrated when we can’t get access to the net.

We understand the power of wireless at this level but this is only the very beginning of a whole new way of working. Recent developments in geo-location and the increasing power of browser interfaces on mobile phones will have a huge impact on how we search for information but more importantly how information finds us.

Julian Lee in last weekend’s Sydney Morning Herald noted “the power of knowing what you want and where you are is indisputable.”  This technology is available and becoming increasingly ubiquitous.

Lee suggests that within three years we will be making more internet searches on our phones than our computers.  So what impact will these changes have on what kinds of technology we use in schools?

In the 2011 Horizon Report, one of the key trends is the availability of resources via the Net especially mobile devices.  This is a clarion call for educators to take a ‘careful look at the ways we can best serve learners.’

All the work and expense over the last several years for schools, systems and governments to provide students and staff with devices and connectivity may well be a thing of the past as we see the dawn of BYOT –  bring your own technologies!

Why duplicate technologies when staff and students have powerful personalised technologies available 24/7?  As enterprise level infrastructure in education becomes the norm, the issue is not who owns and supplies the technologies but what are the universal standards needed to support these technologies.

If geo-location is one of the cornerstones of mobile advertising, then we need to seriously consider the possibility of delivering what would be truly personalised learning!

5 thoughts on “BYOT

  1. Interesting post. As a teacher who frequently brings his own tech to the classroom, its been interesting to see the security of the network out-ranks actually using the network for learning. I understand the concerns of letting students use the Depts internet in terms of non-productive use, distraction-factor and cost – but that to me is a school culture issue. The technology/price has not QUITE hit the sweet spot for parents. Mobiles, even smartphones are still not quite convenient enough for note taking and collaboration. Pads (ipad, samsung tab etc) would be great options but at $600, not viable yet. Personally, a cheap laptop or ePC with physical keyboard + wireless would work best in the near future.

    The other factor is that teachers using their own devices blurs the already fuzzy line between the teacher-self and the personal-self.


  2. Good reflection Cameron. Your comment about school culture is spot on. The situation we face now is that we know the technologies that can support good learning and teaching and we know what good pedagogy is. The challenges are now both political and especially cultural.
    It is about changing decades of practice and policy that all too often inhibit innovation. Security is a default position taken when it seems too difficult to deal with these challenges.
    Keep up the efforts

  3. Hi Greg,

    You’ve got me inspired!

    I’m currently on leave from the Catholic Education Office Parramatta (CLCBJ23), and teaching at an International School in Frankfurt with the wife and kids until mid 2012. After reading this post, I gave some thought to the infrastructure schools need to put in place, particularly around; WAPS and server solutions for backups. I know from friends in other systems that much of the DER money was spent on purchasing laptops (though not adverse to this), it does give some thought on long term sustainability of computer technology in schools.

    I can’t imagine that systems and schools can afford to keep a practise of renewing their computer technologies on a long term-basis. I hope that the Government Laptop Grant for students never dies! However, we do need to be cleaver in the way we adopt long-term strategies to keep the sustainability of technology ‘fresh’ within our schools, like at Stanhope.

    I think that BYOT offers an acceptable balance for both school systems and families alike long term. It is as necessary as the pen and paper! And what better than my very own computer, which I know and love.

    Last week I was down at the Apple Store here in Frankfurt at 6:00pm. The long and short of it was that there was a student from my Grade 4 class there getting a personalised lesson on his brand new MacBook Pro. His parents purchased one lesson a week for him for 12 months – 16 euro a month. Personalised learning for my students just took a new meaning for me…

    Oh, and you’ve inspired me to create my own blog – went LIVE today:

    Ben Oxley

    1. great to hear from you Ben. We are going to find a dramatic change in the ways we think about providing technologies in schools over the next few years. Old practicvesdie hard and we need creative and innovative teachers to show how it can be done. Society as you note is responding more quickly than many of our schols, we vcant let this gap get any wider

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