The Realities of BYOD

The Realities of BYOD

Although the use of mobile technology in classrooms is meant to improve student learning through access to the Internet, surveys show that low-income students are missing out.

A 2013 Pew study noted that a mere third of teachers (35%) at the lowest income schools allow their students to look up information on their devices, versus over half of teachers (52%) at wealthier schools. Highlighting that this is part of a wider trend, the survey also showed that most teachers (70%) in high-income areas say their schools provide adequate resources and support to integrate technology into the classroom, compared to only half of the teachers in low-income areas.

In low-income areas, teachers are faced with a “persistent student culture of disengagement.” Students often have learning gaps that leave them with little interest in grade-level materials, or worse, little interest in attending school at all.

However, the Pew survey results might be skewed due to perception. Perhaps students in wealthier schools just switch back to the task at hand when a teacher walks by, and the teacher trusts that the student has been truly engaged with the schoolwork.

Although the results of the survey are open to interpretation, one thing is clear: the culture of low achievement that often starts when students are young is difficult to abandon as those students move through high school. As administrators focus on graduation rates, they could trace the trends (and possibly change the outcomes) by honing in on effective and engaging instruction in earlier education.