Wednesday, 9 October 2013

BYOD: Build Your Own Device

Proof of mastery: you build your own tools.

Perhaps we can work this Jedi logic into education?  

Want to make use of educational technology?  Unless you've built it yourself you don't get free access, you haven't demonstrated competence!  Access to technology based on demonstrated understanding rather than the net income of a student's parents?  That sounds like a more sound pedagogical model than current BYOD policies we have.  It's time for education to take technology fluency seriously.

I've already argued for a pedagogical model for technology access...
I think I rushed into mastery too soon there, it's commonly overused in education anyway.  Unless the digital wizard can produce their own wand they haven't demonstrated real mastery.  Recognizing all elements in your discipline is a vital element to mastery, including the tools that you need to demonstrate your mastery!

The hunter who hunts with the bow they made?  The rider who rides a bike they built?  The artist who stretches their own canvases?  No one could argue that their understanding of their craft isn't deeper than a consumer who purchased off the shelf, yet we've modeled educational technology on consumerist ideals rather than pedagogical imperatives.

From board provided technology to a mini-lab to bring-your-own-device to build-your-own-device, there is the new continuum.  Until you've built your device from the components up and mounted software on it, you haven't demonstrated mastery of technology, you're still just a user.

Until we begin to do this in education we'll continue to produce technologically incapable students who are slaves to their habitual technology use.