What if pre-service teacher education had a BYODD policy?
The Queensland Society for Information Technology in Education (QSITE) on behalf of the Australian Council for Computers in Education (ACCE)
Place of Publication
School of Education
In this paper, we report on research and initiatives designed to lead our teacher education school towards a ‘Bring Your Own Digital Device’ policy for our students. The initial investigation built on components of three research projects while adding the comprehensive testing of representative potential hardware and software platforms. We began by identifying the digital technology demands of our teacher education courses and what hardware and software was required to address these demands. Then a representative range of potential devices was tested against these demands. At the time of testing all laptop devices were found to be adequate but only the iPad in the mobile range appeared to have an adequate range of software with the minimum required features or capabilities for the required tasks. Finally, data from another project was used to determine what hardware and software our students were likely to have and use, what they used them for, and whether they were likely to bring the technology on campus. These data included a survey of current students, focus groups with seven classes of students, and interviews with two students who volunteered to test the use of tablets. Additional data used in this paper came from an ongoing research project that has run biannually since 2008 to 2014 that surveys teacher education students to determine ICT ownership and usage trends. The review of 184 undergraduate teacher education units showed that all units used the basic features of Blackboard to manage files and to communicate. Almost all required some use of the standard office applications, Internet research, slideshows and some digital media production. Less than 20% of units included applications such as Interactive Whiteboard software, Flip cameras, graphics software, and Web2.0 applications. All of the laptops or netbooks tested were found to be suitable with the MacBook Air probably the best in terms of battery life and weight. At the time the m iPad was the only adequate tablet option in terms of software requirements, however, this would need to be reviewed each year. Nearly all students owned an appropriate device but most made limited, if any, use of it at the University. The in-class trial demonstrated the viability of BYODD for typical workshop activities. Overall the investigation raised a number of critical questions for teacher education institutions, and it provides a longitudinal method for other institutions to follow.