BYOD initiatives in higher education contexts: Are we exacerbating digital differences and digital divides?

Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) initiatives encourage educational stakeholders – lecturers and students, to support their academic activities via mobile personal learning environments. These strategies are characterised by the ad hoc use of mobile technology whereby decision-makers endeavour to enhance teaching and learning in higher education environments. However, digital divides may manifest when devices and applications are easily affordable by some stakeholders while others are precluded from the benefits of educational productivity offered by digital technologies. In addition, emergent digital differences may highlight a diversity of skill sets, proficiencies and preferences. This auto-ethnographic study reviews related literature and reflects on the researcher’s experiences of BYOD in a higher education context. Qualitative analysis of theoretical and personal observations was conducted using ATLAS.ti V8. Findings of the study suggest the extent to which institutional BYOD strategies may inadvertently and paradoxically increase digital divides and digital differences. Finally, the study contemplates proactive remediation mechanisms (Harpur, 2018)

This preliminary interpretive study investigates diversity among master's and doctoral students belonging to a closed WhatsApp group.  Based on the notion that  the research world of postgraduate students is isolated and chaotic, this study contributes to an improved understanding of diversity among postgraduate students ...  (Harpur & Cronjé, 2018)  >>>

This study investigates aspects of mobile personal learning environments (MPLEs) where on-the-move, higher education stakeholders – academics, lecturers and students are purported to use mobile devices and applications to learn informally. The study proposes considerations that support effectiveness of MPLEs in an Architectural Technology context ... (Harpur, Cronjé & Cronjé, 2018) >>>

The purpose of this paper is to review mobility-oriented criteria that inform the on-the-move use
of digital technology. It addresses aspects of mobile technology-enhancement learning and the perceived
differences between mobile lecturers and mobile learners in a higher education (HE) context in an
Architectural Technology domain ... (Harpur, 2017) >>>

Undergraduate software engineering students are often required to participate in problem-based learning (PBL) and team-based project work. Assessment of information communication and technology (ICT) project deliverables contributes a major portion of the course mark. Collaboration and communication are supported to some extent by mobile hand-held devices, yet are limited by the digital divide created from not all students having access to smartphone devices and mobile Internet connectivity ... (Harpur & de VIlliers, 2012) >>>

This paper, a meta-research study, focuses on design-based research (DBR), the educational technology variant of design science research (DSR). DBR is applied to develop and evaluate an m-learning environment ... (de Villiers & Harpur, 2013) >>>

Smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous in educational contexts, where students on-the-move expect access to learning material via a range of digital devices in a mobile and transparent manner, whether on or off campus. A successful m-learning experience can be facilitated by a mobile learning environment which is efficient and effective, and that satisfies the users’ versatile needs. An ad hoc design and development strategy that ignores design principles and guidelines, restricts the likelihood of successful m-learning experiences ... (Harpur & de Villiers, 2014) >>>

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