Thoughts on BYOD…

I had this revelation this morning, and thought I’d share. I was thinking about my district/school’s eventual move towards a BYOD environment. I’ve talked before about how I don’t think going from a non-1:1 environment to BYOD isn’t a functional reality, but I had always assumed that once that eventual shift was made, I’d be teaching in a school full of varied devices.

Now I’m thinking that’s not the case.

The realization I’ve come to is that a wide variety of devices being self-deployed in a High School is exceptionally unlikely because it would require the majority of my students to have an interest in discovering the device that works best for them. Given my experience this year, and with High School students on the whole I can say this with certainty: That will never happen.

Functioning in High School isn’t about standing out as an individual and making independent choices. High School, for the vast majority of students, is about blending into the crowd. It’s about having the exact same shoes/jeans/fleece that everyone else has.

Beyond that substantial hurdle to clear, there’s this fact to go along with it: people deeply interested in tech will always be a minority. While the people reading this blog might care about tech, the majority of people don’t want to think about the intricacies of that tech- they just want it to work. That that same sort of dynamic exists in high school. Most of my students don’t really care what specific cell phone they have- they just need it to do what they want. Ditto with computers- they want to be able to see the web, check email, message, skype, and the like. That’s it- they’re not really into caring about the display tech or the wireless chipset the maker is using.

I’d guess that in a true BYOD situation, you’d end up with two or maybe three major options being brought, with a small percentage of technophiles/early adopters rounding out a few, other, more obscure options.