After the “fire” … BYOD blooms!

I recently enjoyed four days with my wife in the Grampians National Park. In January 2014 devastating fires raged through the Grampians. At the time the only way to view the fire storms was as a tragedy. There was only gloom and destruction. Ten months later the devastation is still in plain view, but there is new life as well … everywhere.

In Australian schools, computer funding from the Federal Government’s “Digital Education Revolution” ended in mid 2013. Devastation! Gloom! Destruction! What though is the aftermath? Schools are turning to BYOD (or whatever you want to call it)! Questions are being asked. Should all students really be required to be using the same device? Do students need to be using the same brand of software? Do we need to worry about software at all given the online alternatives, APPS etc.. Do mobile phones, which are now much more than just a phone, have a role in education? What about cloud technology?

Yes, after the “fire”, new life is appearing everywhere!

Skink comes out to sun itself on a charcoal log in the Grampians.

Skink comes out to sun itself on a charcoal log in the Grampians.


2 thoughts on “After the “fire” … BYOD blooms!

  1. I find this a really interesting analogy Alan. I wonder what conditions bring about such rejuvenation? Sometimes it feels that such success occurs in spite of all that we do. A student accused me the other day of not being normal, as ‘normal’ teachers do all the thinking for the students simply getting them to ‘do’ the work, instead I get students to think for themselves and push them to justify why at each turn. In response, I asked the student whether he considered himself a ‘thinker’. He stated that “I think, just not the way teachers want me to.” Something similar could be said about the integration of technology in schools. More often that not, the new sprouts shoot up spurred on by personal tinkering, rather than any sort of innovative drive pushed by teachers.


    • In the first instance Aaron what choices do students and teachers have? School budgets cannot sustain the regular replacement of student devices. As your “accusational” student pointed out, teachers do the work, which includes making sure that students have everything they need, even providing whatever digital technologies are required. That is no longer sustainable. We could ditch digital technologies or we can look to students bringing to school the devices that they already have and use at home. The latter is a pretty obvious choice once teachers (and parents) have gone through the usual grieving process that occurs when a change of direction is forced upon you. Our school has gone through this over the past 12 months. At the end of 2013 we had some pretty angry responses from parents, but this year parents are asking for advice on what devices would be the most appropriate. While this period is not yet over for us, some teachers and a substantial number of parents have made the transition. The fact is, as our Science HOD says, “BYOD is better”! Also, where we are actually moving to is BYOT. I’ll be posting more on this.


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