BYOD or Bring Your Own Device

The College’s Learning Technology team is back with a brand new blog post!

This post will summarise some useful (and free) ways student devices can be used within the classroom as a means to enhance participation, create opportunities for collaboration, and overall just provide further ways to make learning more interesting.

BYOD might sound like YAA (Yet Another Acronym) if there wasn’t enough already, but it is a very useful concept to consider in modern education.

Essentially most students have smartphones, and smartphones can access the internet and download educational apps.

It would seem a shame and a missed opportunity to not make use of this trend since half of the trouble – and most of the cost – has already been spent by the student purchasing these devices.



Thinglink is very straightforward and easy to use. It comprises an image which is either taken from the web or from your own computer and this image is used as a virtual pin board whereby either the lecturer or the students can pin information onto it – whether that information is text, a web address, another image or even an embedded video is entirely up to the individual doing the pinning.

Once created on their website the Thinglink can be embedded within Moodle on a course page by pasting the html code into Moodle’s html editor (ask us at if you need help with this).

It is easy to envisage how this tool can be used within the context of BYOD. Students already enrolled on a Moodle course will then be able to interact with the image using their smartphones to login to Moodle and the activity could be displayed on a smart board so everyone can see the interaction in progress.



Padlet is basically a collaborative wall for students or staff to post information. It is more like a virtual pin board where students can upload images, share links, or simply their written ideas. This suits being displayed on a smart board so that everyone can see what is going on.

Setting up a Padlet wall is very quick, and once again only requires a link to be shared to students. Padlet can be embedded on a Moodle page in exactly the same way as Thinglink and other forms of media.

Moodle Quiz 

One of the good things about the quizzes on Moodle is that they are often easy to complete on any device whether that be a PC, a laptop, tablet or smartphone.

Students will have no trouble accessing these forms of activity as long as they are already enrolled on the Moodle page.

Being able to access Moodle outside of college also makes these activities doable in any setting such as on a fieldtrip. Even in areas where there is no wireless access students will commonly receive a mobile network connection to the internet.

If you have any questions regarding students using their own devices in or outside the classroom, on potential apps or learning tools please just ask us:

Tablets and education

Ayrshire College recently added to its stock of tablet computers with 30 new iPads to support learning and teaching across the College through the Learning Resource Centres on the three main campuses. The Learning Technologies team will be providing training in the practical use of the iPads, as well as how each curriculum area can use them for excellence in learning and teaching. Learning Technologist Bill Lennox explains.

Rise of the machine

In recent years information and communication technologies (ICT) have gained significant ground, both in the day-to-day lives of the young and not-so-young, and in schools and colleges around the world. Indeed, many believe they are the future of education. According to some experts technology has transformed society from top to bottom and changed public expectations on what education systems should deliver and how.

The use of conventional computers like laptops and netbooks is well established in schools and colleges, with a considerable body of literature to confirm their value and impact. Although the integration of tablet devices such as the iPad is still very much at the innovation stage, there is already published research on the impact of these devices on learning and teaching which demonstrates the benefits and innovative practice engendered.

In barely a handful of years, the tablet has appeared in educational establishments around the world as no previous innovation has succeeded in doing. The exact figures are difficult to pin down, but it is certainly the case that the integration of tablets into education is proceeding at an exponentially faster rate than previous technological advances like the personal computer. In the UK, around 70% of primary and secondary schools use tablet computers, and almost 10% have an individual tablet for every pupil. Around the world, several countries have introduced individual tablets for every pupil at every school. Statistics like these are rising all the time with more and more schools and colleges introducing tablets in one way or another.

Benefit of tablets

To see why tablets are enjoying such a meteoric rise in education, we need only look at the academic research which has been undertaken on their use and the many benefits identified, eg iPad Scotland Evaluation. A University of Cambridge study provides evidence that they help to motivate pupils who might otherwise be disengaged.

A separate study from the National Literacy Trust and Pearson suggests that tablets are particularly useful in helping students from deprived backgrounds improve their literacy skills more effectively than other traditional methods.

Several studies, including one from Bond University in Australia, have shown that using tablet computers increases student motivation in class and lectures. A large number of the studies from institutions such as MIT, the University of Hong Kong and the University of the West of Scotland have also shown that the use of tablets supports student learning and performance, as well as improving computer literacy skills. Even more significant benefits have been shown in studies which focus on the impact of tablets for students with learning difficulties or additional support needs (see University of Madrid study).

These benefits, and more, are driving the expansion of the tablet in education. At Ayrshire College, the Learning Technologies team looks forward to supporting our students and staff with the use of this powerful educational tool.

If you want to find out more, check out this literature review on the use of tablets in education.