By Cristina Sala
More and more schools are in favor of using ‘smartphones’, tablets and other electronic devices in their class.
How many times have you heard a teacher say: ‘If I see anyone with their cell phone, I will take it from them’?.We all know that we have to pay attention in class, but it is sometimes hard to not answer a Whatsapp or ignore the last notification from Instagram.
Nevertheless, more and more schools are in favor of using ‘smartphones’, tablets and other electronic devices in their class. That does not imply giving in to the enemy, but means taking advantage of the benefits of technology for education.
As well as being a distraction, these devices can also be a very useful tool to improve teaching and personalize the education of each individual student
Smartphones arrive in the classroom
Education has transformed radically over the last few years. We have gone from only using computers in computer class to becoming surrounded by electronic screens, tablets, ‘online’ tools, working in cloud……
All of these advances are known as edtech. Technology applied to education. Of course, smartphones and tablets couldn’t be left out of this new methodology, although many teachers believe that they contribute to more distractions than benefits
However, others are in favor of integrating them completely into the class. ‘If students are going to use cell phones anyway under the desk, why not encourage them to use them in the classroom, for educational purposes?’, points out Óscar Secorún, chief of TextHelp in Spain and Latin America
According to Secorún, it would be much better to allow students to use their own electronic devices in the classroom, in a controlled manner.
What is the BYOD philosophy?
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)is a philosophy which opts for each student taking their own computer, tablet and/or ‘smartphone’ to class. This way, schools save on the cost of purchasing these devices and the time taken to train teachers and students to use them.
Furthermore, as Óscar Secorún, explains “thanks to BYOD students can work with devices they are already familiar with, allowing them to access a great variety of apps and tools in a faster and more personalized way”.
However, the BYOD philosophy may also have its inconveniences, as perhaps not all of us have access to the latest technological novelties. As a solution, some schools are starting up a rental system of laptops and tablets, guaranteeing that all students dispose of the same tools.
Pehaps, very soon cell phones will be allowed in the classrooms. Although it will probably still be prohibited to check your WhatsApp in class!