Investigating the initiative of students bringing their own technology devices into New Zealand secondary schools
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Citation:Baker, K. (2014). Investigating the initiative of students bringing their own technology devices into New Zealand secondary schools. An unpublished thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Educational Leadership and Management, Unitec Institute of Technology.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:https://hdl.handle.net/10652/2578
The paradigm shift in education towards equipping people to use knowledge in inventive ways, new contexts and combinations opened the door for technology to be infused into 21st Century learning. Although digital technology facilitates inquiry processes, shared learning and social creation of knowledge through connectivity in supportive environments, it is the personalised, student centred nature of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) that has caused many educators to justify this initiative. The challenge for educators is to implement successful change using BYOD that maximises the quality of teaching and learning aligned to the institution’s goals and visions. The topic of this study is to investigate the initiative of students bringing their own technology devices into New Zealand secondary schools. The first aim of this study is to examine why secondary schools are implementing a technology BYOD initiative. The second aim is to investigate ways in which schools implement and evaluate BYOD initiatives. The last aim is to identify successes and challenges associated with a technology initiative such as BYOD. A qualitative approach was adopted in this study which involved five urban secondary schools in New Zealand. Eight semi structured interviews with leaders, managers, or co-ordinators of the BYOD initiative were conducted. Five focus group discussions involving between four and seven participants consisting of pastoral teachers and leaders, curriculum teachers and leaders, managers or co-ordinators were held. A number of key findings emerged across both the semi structured interview and the focus group discussion. Quality was measured using digital technology best practice models, the key competency of thinking, and links were made to measuring effectiveness and quality through appraisal, reflective practice and conversations about quality. Challenges of this initiative related to change management and student management while the biggest success was noted as a shift to student centred learning. This study had conclusions which pointed to implications for practice. Before implementing a BYOD initiative leaders, managers, co-ordinators or educators in charge, need to decide and facilitate a plan and vision. This plan and vision needs to involve and support those on the receiving end to adjust to change by providing tailor made professional development that suits individual and school needs. Infrastructure and technology must align to this plan and vision and allow educators to be able to do what they need it to do. For students to act collaboratively they need to feel safe and supported in an online environment. Therefore, data management systems that can be used to track behaviour to inform evidence based decisions regarding effectiveness of policies that relate to BYOD and purposeful interventions may be required.