In theory, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs in schools are a great idea; students can use their own tablets, laptops and smartphones in the classroom, and can take advantage of a wider range of apps and programs than they might be able to normally access in school. There is a case to be made that doing so can make schools more cutting edge and capable of engaging students through methods that they’re comfortable with. However, there’s also a risk that BYOD could lead to bullying and inequality within schools. How, then, can BYOD be successful without causing these kinds of problems?
The growing popularity of BYOD is a trend that has appeared in the workplace and schools over the past few years; partly, this has been in response to gaps between the technology found at work and school, and what people are using in their spare time. By allowing people to bring in their own devices, employers and schools create a greater consistency between how employees and students normally access information and learn, and the standards set within the workplace and the classroom.
For schools, particularly those whose budgets are struggling to keep up with the pace of technology, BYOD offers cost savings. Implementing BYOD means that a school’s ICT system can be expanded to include more apps and more flexibility when it comes to using internal networks and developing class projects. Students familiar with using their own devices at home have the potential to relate much better to these rather than to the school’s technologies, and that familiarity can extend their skills for comprehension and the creative use of apps to literacy, numeracy and other school subjects.