MyTablet – BYOD to Class

An analysis of initial experience, factors for success, and obstacles to "Bring your own device" (BYOD) policies for personal educational tools.

Digital devices belonging to pupils can support individual learning processes at school.

The goal of the project is to enable initial experiences and establish success factors and obstacles to "Bring your own device" (BYOB) policies in educational settings. The project is based on an analysis of the potential of digital media, i. e. possible added value of using tablets and smart phones belonging to pupils in formal, non-formal, and informal educational settings.

Digitality can be seen in the converging and adaptive characteristics of digital devices. These characteristics allow users to shape their device – and thus their learning environment – and to adapt individual learning scenarios to meet personal needs.

Due to the converging characteristics of digital devices, students can use and adapt tools to actively shape and link content in various different formats (e. g. texts, photos, videos, apps) on one device or platform. Furthermore, the functional and formalized adaptivity of digital devices enables learners not only to manipulate subject matter but also to individually configure their digital educational tool.

These characteristics allow digital tools to adequately support self-directed learning. These positive effects are increased with the BYOD concept: the advantage of a digital device that belongs to the pupils is that it is more likely to be accepted as a personal educational tool than a device provided by the school. Furthermore, digital tools are able to transcend physical boundaries and connect students and teachers because they are constantly connected to the Internet. New forms of cooperation and interactional structures are thus promoted, which, in turn, can encourage individual learning processes.

However, several conditions must be satisfied before personal devices should be used in schools: first, technical requirements must be fulfilled in order to enable the integration of pupils' personal devices in school IT infrastructure (cf. fraMoLe – mobile learning in Frankfurt).

Didactic concepts are also needed in order to incorporate both school devices and personal devices into lesson plans. The aim of the MyTablet project is to determine the potential of digital media and explain their importance for individual learning processes. Based on observations and evaluations of school instruction, the project will analyse both factors for success and obstacles to using personal educational tools in the classroom.

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The project will be carried out in cooperation with the city of Frankfurt from September 2014 to August 2018.


Contact person: Professor Dr Thomas Knaus
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Status: in planning (2014–2018) // in cooperation with the city of Frankfurt

Focus: educational informatics; media education