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Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Own Distraction

, , University of Auckland, New Zealand

International Journal on E-Learning Volume 16, Number 3, ISSN 1537-2456 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Chesapeake, VA


The purpose of this exploratory case study was to investigate the utilisation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) technologies in the classroom to determine if students and teachers perceive that the use of a digital device increased a learner’s access to learning opportunities within the classroom, and, if the use of digital devices increased their motivation to complete learning activities. Teachers and students within these settings may have better access to information, the internet and online collaboration tools, but do these devices help increase their motivation and engagement in classroom tasks or access to learning opportunities. This case study explores the student and teacher perceptions around these two main questions.

Data collection followed a mixed methods approach with quantitative and qualitative data being collected. A questionnaire was used to collect quantitative responses to questions as well as allowing qualitative data to be collected through student and teacher written responses to these questions as well. The data was collected within classrooms that have had access to personal digital devices for learning for at least a ten week period to ensure a basic proficiency with digital devices and their use in a classroom environment. The results of the study showed that students and teachers perceive there is a correlation between the use of digital devices and increased motivation towards a task as well as increased access to learning tasks. Students hold a more positive view of the use of digital devices overall than teachers but both clearly acknowledge the usefulness of digital devices particularly in making tasks easier through ease of access to online information, and through learning tools and applications that allow students to learn in a variety of ways from a variety of sources. Most participants acknowledge that a digital device brings with it an element of distraction, however it is beyond the limits of this study to identify whether this distraction is created by the device, or, whether the device is just the closest tool to facilitate the behaviour when the students becomes disengaged with their learning.


Laxman, K. & Holt, C. (2017). Bring Your Own Device or Bring Your Own Distraction. International Journal on E-Learning, 16(3), 245-263. Chesapeake, VA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).