BYOD or Bring your Own device in education settings refers to the policy of permitting students to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smartphones) to the classroom in order to use those devices to access educational information and applications. The phenomenon is commonly referred to as IT consumerization.
The term “BYOD” was first coined in the corporate world a few years ago, with companies allowing employees to use their personal laptop computers, smartphones, tablets and other mobile devices in the workplace. However, it has since gained traction in the education sector with an increasing number of schools around the world choosing to implement their own BYOD policies.
Why is it happening?
It is widely acknowledged that technology plays a huge role in students’ everyday lives and should, therefore, be an integral part of their learning. Schools allow students to use personal devices for curriculum-related activities. The staff often employ rules regarding when a device can and can not be used. However, for most schools, it is financially unsustainable to provide every student with state-of-the-art technology. BYOD is therefore considered an attractive, cost-effective alternative; recognizing that many students already own devices that are superior and more up-to-date than those available in schools.
Importance of BYOD
Due to the rapid increase of mobile devices, it is assumed that within next five years the total number of devices will be around 10 billion that means 1.5 devices per head. As the personal mobile devices are integrated part of our lives, students want to use their own devices in personal as well as educational purpose also.
In the current education model, when a school wants their students to be more focus, BYOD is a useful and attractive option and will increase the engagement on a large scale if it safely used.
- Allows for students to work on a device that is familiar to them and customised to their preferences.
- Enables the opportunity for schools to leverage students’ attachment to their own devices to deepen learning and to make learning more personalized and student-centered.
- Can increase the number of devices available for teaching and learning.
- Enables the school to direct ICT funding to addressing equity issues and improving infrastructure (e.g., wireless).
- Enables collaborative learning through cloud-based software at any time (school and home).
- The success of a BYOD Program will be dependent on thorough planning, and community/stakeholder consultation carried out by the school.
- Students may bring a range of different technologies to schools which require support from teachers/staff.
- It can be stressful for the individual classroom teacher as they have to grapple with connection issues and charging problems with specific devices. These students are part of a Bring Your Own Device (BOYD) program, a movement that has been gaining popularity over the past few years. Many see the use of technological devices in class as the natural way to move forward and keep up in a tech-dependent world. So far, BYOD seems to be the most cost-effective way for the majority of students to work together using personal tools with which they are already comfortable.