Getting the best out of BYOD

Janice Prandstatter, Teaching and Learning Consultant at Promethean, shares some advice on how to make the most of BYOD

For schools with a ‘bring your own device’ (BYOD) strategy in place, there are a multitude of ways in which the student devices can be used to enhance teaching and learning opportunities. The simplest of these is to support one-to-one learning sessions, whether that is web-based research, the completion of individual assignments or another student-led activity. However, the continued advancements in education technology have opened up a new world of opportunity when it comes to maximising the potential of BYOD – the most notable of these being the ability to combine front-of-class display systems with personal devices.

Starting with the basics; where BYOD is already established, an excellent way to harness the power of the technology is to create a collaborative learning environment. Going beyond the one-to-one, a ‘connected classroom’ will enable you to facilitate lessons which support personalised learning whilst simultaneously encouraging group collaboration. But what do we mean by ‘connected classroom’?

A connected classroom is one where the traditional front-of-class delivery can be combined with the activities which take place on individual student devices. Importantly, this can be achieved very simply. And here’s how…

Connecting the classroom

Supplied with an external and fully upgradeable Android device, the latest Promethean ActivPanel is designed to enhance learning opportunities by connecting with student devices. 

By mirroring the content from tablet devices and/or smartphones to the large screen, teachers can easily gather evidence of learning whilst simultaneously facilitating student-led learning and collaborative assignments.

Moreover, the ‘Instant Whiteboarding’ feature of the ActivPanel makes it easier than ever to respond to learning ‘in the moment’. With no need to connect to a computer, teachers can quickly engage in an interactive session at the ActivPanel, and then ‘mirror’ this content direct to student devices for further discussion. 

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Where educational apps are being used, the ActivPanel not only facilitates the sharing of this content with the students via the mirroring functionality – teachers also can download their favourites directly through the Android device and instantly use these to engage the class from the front of the room. 

From a financial perspective; with advances in computing power changing at a rapid pace, the ability to swap out the Android device in the future protects the investment made in panel technology, now.

Cloud-based collaboration 

It is not only the ActivPanel which can facilitate BYOD strategies. With teacher and student accounts available completely free of charge, the cloud-based learning platform – Classflow.co.uk – can be used to prepare, deliver and assess lessons. Moreover, it also allows student assignments to be set by teachers for students to then complete using their own devices at home. 

Even existing lessons can be easily enhanced using ClassFlow. Where content is traditionally discussed front-of-class on an interactive whiteboard (IWB), teachers can use ClassFlow to send content from the IWB direct to the student devices for further exploration or progression. Equally, students can then be invited to submit their own work back to the teacher, which can be further shared with the class as appropriate. The creation of a two-way dialogue between teacher and students using any type of content is the key to creating a truly collaborative learning environment and ultimately takes BYOD way beyond one-to-one. 

Technology has advanced at an unprecedented rate in recent years, particularly where hand-held devices are concerned. In this modern era of edtech, there really are no boundaries to how and when students can learn – the key is to understand what approach best works for specific opportunities and build the teaching environment in line with this. 

Promethean’s Modern Classroom eBook offers an excellent guide for creating collaborative learning environments and designing the classroom to best address the space, and pedagogical and technological needs. 

W: resourced.classflow.co.uk/learn-more

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