BYOD (bring your own device) is the technological philosophy for businesses and educational institutions of bringing your own devices (mobile phones, laptops, iPads, etc.) and using them while you are at school or at work. The use of these devices is beneficial as well as troublesome for educational purposes. When this process is monitored by teachers, it can prove beneficial. In the past, schools provided the equipment that students needed to perform their tasks, but with pricier technology, it is more beneficial for some schools to have students bring their own devices from home to use. Below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using BYOD in the education field.
• The use of BYOD devices in schools frees up a lot of expense in educational costs.
• Offers a better teaching opportunity for educators. The BYOD technology allows students to view their textbooks online, see videos online, download educational apps, perform online research and access the many learning apps online.
• There is less confusion for the student because they can use their device at home or at school. This gives the student more time to understand tasks and work on homework and special projects. It also makes their learning process more fun.
• There is no repair cost for educators when BYOD is used. The student or parents are responsible for repairing their own devices.
• BYOD allows for digitized classrooms. This gives the educator instant results for specific assignments. The students enter their answers or data on their own device, and it is sent directly to the teacher after being automatically graded. This saves a lot of time for the educational system for grading and boosts efficiency.
• A major concern of using BYOD in schools is the inability to keep inappropriate text, videos and images out. Teachers would have to continually check to see that students are remaining on task. Some students will always find ways to play around on their device instead of doing their school work.
• Not being able to filter out gaming is a problem. Games are so easy to access, and students can sit and play games and close them out before the teacher ever notices.
• A major concern of bringing devices to school is the ability to bring prohibited material into the school. This could include plagiarism and cheating. An example of this would be students using macros to help them automate their math problems.
• The problem of students leaving their device at school or the device being stolen, lost or damaged is a major concern. This is a bigger problem for younger students. A child may leave their device on the bus, on their desk, drop it in a puddle of water walking home or someone can steal it. This would put their confidential data at risk and trigger many privacy concerns. It could potentially be a liability for the school.
• Some students live in lower-income families and cannot afford their own devices. This would mean that the PTA or another organization would have to offer financial assistance or a lower cost device to help those students. Some families are prepared for BYOD technology, but some are not.
Overall, the advantages of BYOD technology in the schools are pretty standard and worth considering. Running a test pilot program before implementing BYOD is a good way to evaluate proper usage in the school system.
Nick Santos is an IT consultant and blogger from Charlotte, NC. More of his expert advice can be found at MIS Degree Guide.