A Longitudinal Journey with BYOD Classrooms: Issues of Access, Capability and Outcome Divides

  • Janak Adhikari Open Polytechnic, New Zealand
  • Anuradha Mathrani Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Massey University, New Zealand
  • Chris Scogings Institute of Natural and Mathematical Sciences Massey University, New Zealand
Keywords: BYOD, schools, digital access divide, digital capability divide, digital outcome divide


Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) classrooms is the latest addition to the ongoing quest for transforming pedagogical practices and driving educational development outcomes. Governments and policymakers around the world are embracing the idea of integrating digital learning technologies into educational settings backed by research on the benefits offered like the lifelong development of individual learners. While technological interventions open up unlimited possibilities for accessing information and improving collaboration, thereby engaging learners with more interactive learning activities, a new type of gap between individuals could also take shape as the penetration of technologies and adoption stages advance. Results from past projects of similar nature within educational settings have indicated the possible rise in the gap among individuals based on digital access (i.e., equity in access/ownership of digital learning technologies), digital capability (i.e., equity in digital/information literacy skills and usage) and digital outcome (i.e., equity in knowledge acquisition and progression).

Therefore, we have conducted a longitudinal study to investigate a BYOD initiative by a New Zealand School.  This study shares rich insights in the context of technology-mediated pedagogies and specifically BYOD classroom, as to how digital divides moved beyond access and skills to ensure inclusive learning outcomes. As a part of the five-year study of the technology-mediated teaching and learning initiative, we have been able to explain some of the unanswered questions around the issue of digital divides in the learning process. We investigated issues pertaining to digital divide in the context of BYOD classrooms to make the following revelations. First, the BYOD classroom initiative did not end up accentuating existing gaps in access to digital tools and technologies, despite earlier studies indicating towards increase in gaps. Second, our analysis strongly indicated the changing nature of digital divides with the presence of gaps in terms of information literacy and critical thinking ability, as the BYOD classroom progressed to mature stage. This was eventually bridged in the later stage, as students slowly adjusted to the classroom curricular structures in the BYOD classroom. Third, learner self-efficacy has been identified as a determinant of learning outcomes. In the earlier phase of ICT adoption, learner self-efficacy is influenced by a combination of information literacy, critical thinking ability, and positive motivation; however subsequently, self-efficacy influences affordances in various aspects of social cognitive abilities related to individual’s learning activities affecting how learners engage and apply technology to achieve learning outcomes.

Author Biography

Janak Adhikari, Open Polytechnic, New Zealand

Programme Leader - Information Technology

School of Science, Technology & Engineering

Open Polytechnic, New Zealand

How to Cite
Adhikari, J., Mathrani, A., & Scogings, C. (2017). A Longitudinal Journey with BYOD Classrooms: Issues of Access, Capability and Outcome Divides. Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 21. https://doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v21i0.1693
Selected Papers from the Australasian Conference on Information Systems (ACIS)