A look at what it takes to develop a BYOD initiative that incorporates device-agnostic lesson plans, content, and collaboration tools.
In the 2015 Higher Education Edition of the Horizon Report, The New Media Consortium pinpoints Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) as one of the most important developments in educational technology with a time-to-adoption horizon of one year or less.
“In higher education,” NMC states, “the BYOD movement addresses the fact that many students are entering the classroom with their own devices, which they use to connect to the institutions’ networks.” The Horizon Report includes an example from California State University, which studied the BYOD phenomenon and found that students “could only engage in educational activities for six minutes before turning on their devices for support.”
The open question on U.S. campuses is not if students are bringing their own devices or how to connect them to the institutional network, but rather: how do you support all these personal devices at the point of instruction, in the classroom? How can educators can effectively design lessons and utilize software in an environment where their students are using myriad different devices, computers, and operating systems?
According to some educational experts, the best approach to supporting BYOD for instruction is the “device-agnostic” class. Device-agnostic tools are applications that work across multiple systems without requiring any special customizations; they are compatible with most (or all) operating systems and can be used on various tablets, smartphones, and laptops.