The Educational Importance of BYOT

Mal Lee

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Mal Lee and Martin Levins

It is increasingly apparent that BYOT is but a phase, albeit a critical phase in both the evolution of schooling and the quest by schools to normalise the whole school use of the digital technology.

In writing Bring Your Own Technology (Lee and Levins, 2012) Martin and I stressed at the outset that BYOT was first and foremost an educational development, and most assuredly not simply a technological development to be left to the technology team. It was a development that would impact every facet of the school’s operations.

Since making that observation and conducting further research with the pathfinder schools in the UK, US, NZ and Australia its significance has continued to grow and today we would posit that until schools are ready and willing to embrace the educational principles underpinning BYOT the school’s overall evolution will be stalled and it will likely be unable to move to the Digital Normalisation evolutionary stage and beyond.

What is now strikingly evident in the pathfinders is that when all the children naturally use their own choice of digital technologies in the classroom, and normalise its use the term BYOT disappears from the vernacular and the school’s evolution continues at pace with the new normality. The school is now able to build upon the every child having in their hand, from a very early age an increasingly powerful and sophisticated ever evolving suite of digital technologies that they can use in their learning and teaching anywhere, anytime 24/7/365.

It was with that thought in mind that Martin and I have decided to phase out the separate BYOT blog at – – to move the key past posts on to this site and in future to address BYOT in the context of the quest to normalise the use of the digital in all facets of schooling and to further the school’s evolution.

Below are PDFs of the main posts to the old site, and a brief introduction  to each.

  • 1:1 Computing, BYOD and BYOT – Phases in the School Evolutionary Journey. This post suggests that, particularly in a high school, the school might in its evolution move from 1:1 computing, to BYOD and then to BYOT before normalising the whole school use of the digital. In contrast primary or elementary schools are more likely to move from the whole school use of IWBs, to BYOT and then digital normalisation.
  • Phases in Evolutionary Journey
  • BYOT – BYOD Difference.  Distinguishes between the terms ‘BYOD’ and ‘BYOT’, highlighting the fundamentally different educational philosophy underpinning the two.
  • BYOT – BYOD Difference
  • BYOT and Revised Responsibilities.  Identifies, particularly for teachers the changed responsibilities that flow from adopting BYOT as they relate to the children’s ownership of their kit and the imperative of respecting their legal and privacy rights.
  • BYOT and Revised Responsibilities
  • BYOT – Moving from Lower to Higher Order Learning. Underscores the movement of learning and teaching to a higher order that occurs when schools show their readiness to embrace the educational principles underpinning BYOT.
  • BYOT – Moving from lower to higher order teaching
  • BYOT and the Home. Parent Perspective.  Looks at the adoption of BYOT from a parent’s perspective and what they are likely to want in contrast to the educators.
  • BYOT and the Parent blog
  • Readiness Pre-conditions. This post highlights the imperative of school’s, and in particular the teachers being ready for and willing to embrace BYOT.
  • Readiness preconditions
  • Rationale and Opportunities. Summarises the points made in Chapter 3 of Lee and Levin’s Bring Your Own Technology.
  • Rationale and Opportunities
  • Implementation and Management Checklist.  Summaries in some depth the advice provided in Chapter 8 of Bring Your Own Technology on how to go about implementing BYOT.
  • Implementation Checklist
  • BYOT Planning. As suggested this post provides an insight into the kind of planning needed to successfully achieve the total school uptake of BYOT.
  • BYOT Planning

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