Bring your own devices (BYOD) is a recent phenomenon that has grown over the past few years as a result of the pandemic, a widening achievement gap, and the need for flexibility and innovation in formally traditional classroom settings. My current student population has access to one-to-one Apple iPads in the classroom, in addition to personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Currently, students are limited to the use of iPads only, as this is a district-controlled device that can be internally and externally monitored. That said, the use of remote and online learning as a result of CO-VID sparked an examination into the lack of flexibility and access to education outside of the classroom. Devices can be made more accessible through multiple pathways, specifically using smartphones which are the norm today.
Smartphones have become easy to obtain and have permeated social and academic culture. Rather than attempt to combat their integration in and out of the classroom, one could conversely advocate for their value in connecting students with content. Students can use smartphones and their applications to create, innovate, and deliver products of their understanding. Using the digital storytelling lesson as an example, students can access all the digital tools, as well as submit a comprehensive assessment of their learning, through smartphone applications. Diverse learners require diverse learning experiences. Student choice for demonstration of learning has been proven to have a significant impact on current and future success. Traditional learning approaches have been replaced by multimodal teaching and learning strategies that allow students to verbalize, illustrate, and/or model to demonstrate their knowledge and skill acquisition. In a society with increasing technological integration, the academic stakeholders have a duty to effectively embrace the cultural and social changes that have a direct impact on their students’ ability to be successful.