While the rise of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in education has largely been fueled by the cost savings it provides schools, there are many pros and cons schools must weigh when contemplating a BYOD program:
- Technology. First and foremost, BYOD allows schools to provide their students the technology necessary in today’s classroom. Additionally, student-owned mobile devices tend to be more cutting-edge than school provided technology.
- Cost. BYOD provides significant cost savings to schools as they do not have to pay the hardware or maintenance costs associated with a 1:1 program.
- Familiarity. Students are bringing in their own devices and utilizing technology they are comfortable with, allowing them to spend more time on learning.
- Personalized Learning. BYOD allows students to use the same device at home that they use in school – providing them additional opportunities for personalized learning outside of the classroom.
- Device Ownership. The majority of students already own the devices necessary for BYOD. A study conducted by Pearson found that only 28% of elementary school students, 15% of middle school students, and 10% of high school students didn’t own a mobile device.
- Inequality. Some students are unable to afford their own device, while others will have state-of-the-art technology.
- Universal Applications. If a teacher needs all of their students to run a certain program, that program will have to work with iPad® devices, Android™ tablets, Chromebooks, and more.
- Security. IT will need a security system that works across different platforms to ensure students don’t bring a virus from home onto the school’s network.
- Distractions. Students may become easily distracted while working on their own devices since their own apps and games will be available to them.
- Device Management. With schools not maintaining device security and charging onsite, students may forget their device, forget to charge it, or lose/break their device at home – causing them to fall behind in class.
Some of major cons associated with BYOD provide resellers key sales opportunities for customers implementing BYOD: Do they have a cross-platform security system? Cross-platform software and apps? How are they going to secure devices when kids are at lunch? How are they planning on providing students who can’t afford devices a level playing field? Helping schools identify and answer these questions effectively is key for resellers approaching BYOD customers.