Generally speaking, the pros of BYOD programs in schools generally outweigh the cons – which is why we have seen such a rise in their implementation over the past ten years.
- It’s cost effective – as parents purchase their own devices for each student, schools need not invest large amounts on the technology.
- Students are already familiar with their own devices – as the students can use the device for personal use and continue school work at home, this gives them even more time to develop their capabilities with the device and software.
- Continue learning / working outside of school hours – as students often prefer these devices over written work or text books, this allows for a higher chance that they will continue on with school work and homework after school hours.
- Homework, notes and assignments are all kept in the one space – students can be more organised knowing that all of their work is contained in the one device: no more bringing the wrong text book to class or forgetting their homework!
- Large amount of resources and information at students’ disposal – with the internet at their fingertips, the information stream is endless with a personal device.
- Students often favour technology over text books (Wainright, 2012) – equipping students with a device to complete their homework can excite them as opposed to bore them.
What are the downsides of BYOD programs?
- Wireless network infrastructure may need addressing – because of the high quantity of devices that a BYOD program creates, wireless networks may become overloaded without the correct infrastructure in place. An IT audit may
- Discrepancy between different devices between students – due to the fact that parents much purchase the devices for students individually, this means that a range of devices will be brought to schools which may create status symbols for the students.
- Security can be harder to monitor – because of the vast range of devices and personal settings, things such as viruses can be brought into the school easier.
- Possibility of theft – some parents and students may be uncomfortable with the idea of bringing their personal device to school due to the increased risk of theft.
The bottom line on BYOD Programs for schools:
Whilst some parents may disagree with some of the small security risks that are included with a BYOD program implementation, the benefits certainly outweigh the cons. Technology is the way of the future, and giving students the privilege and responsibility of maintaining their own device can allow them to flourish. They’re often more enthusiastic about learning this way and the possibilities are endless – software and applications are continuously being updated and the stream of information is endless. Schools needn’t worry, too, because with the right provider, the programs can be cost effective.
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