What is BYOD?

The term BYOD, which stands for “Bring Your Own Device,” refers to the practice of students bringing their own laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices with them to class. Intel coined the term in 2009, when the company observed that an increasing number of its employees were using their own devices and connecting them to the corporate network. Since then, this type of activity has become commonplace in workplaces all over the globe. The BYOD movement in education institutions is being driven by a major challenge that many institutions face — a lack of funds to support one-to-one learning, which is a systemic solution in which every student is provided a laptop or mobile device that can be used to support learning in and outside of the classroom. BYOD makes one-to-one easier by simply leveraging the devices that students already have, or those their parents could buy for them. In practice, it has proven important to provide funds to support families in financial need, and to standardize on a small set of devices and software packages. Often the school will negotiate advantageous pricing for families to reduce their costs. In early studies, the act of a student using his or her own device for learning has proven to increase productivity and engagement. Tablet computing has accelerated the pace of BYOD, especially in schools, where these smaller, less-expensive devices are seen as a better option than traditional laptops. With their ever-growing capabilities, tablets (which now include an expanding set of choices, such as the iPad, Galaxy, Nexus, and Surface), are well positioned for BYOD environments.

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1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • I see this more as a trend than as a technology. However, I think it fits better corporate education than school education, mainly for social reasons. As you highlight in the description this phenomenon arose in the corporate sector with employees bringing their own device when the company could not afford providing them with the right/updated technologies. In schools I think the situation is different as there are ethical values linked to equity and equality that prevent such an attitude that would create uneven distribution of technologies among kids. I am personally not aware of funds available to support families in the acquisition of computers/laptops with the aim of letting children bring their own device to school in Europe (but there might be ;-)) Besides, at least in Southern Europe, the entrance of technologies in the classroom is approved only if part of ministerial programmes, otherwise it is generally not appreciated (in some schools children cannot bring their mobile phones in the classroom) - stefania.aceto stefania.aceto Oct 21, 2013 - agree - helga helga Oct 26, 2013- iivanov iivanov Oct 30, 2013
    Related to this point, I've put a link in examples from Finland and Denmark, where the situation is very different from what Stefania describes. E.g. the MoE in DK asked the agency (Uni-C) to look how to make BYOD possible in schools, including providing devices to those students who do not have their own - Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • Schools permitting students to use their own computer devices within school seem indeed to save money, provide a certain level of comfort, and ensure that more individuals have the possibilities and capabilities of working digitally. But it also helps to bring the students’ personal digital environments of outside school into the learning process with excellent opportunities to link these to the digital learning environment of the school. An ideal starting point for teachers and schools to create spaces where students learn and develop skills and to realize personalized learning by encouraging students voice and students choice on their own track of study.- guus guus Oct 22, 2013- iivanov iivanov Oct 30, 2013 - gabriel.rubio.navarro gabriel.rubio.navarro Oct 30, 2013 - Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • I think we're inevitably going towards BYOD. Tablets, smart phones and other mobile equipment can easily be carried with you. Instead of textbooks, there will be open learning spaces and interactive materials, open source ebooks all to be always with you on you own equipment at school and at home. As the border between formal and informal learning gets more blurred and both personal learning environments and individual learning paths as well as collaborative learning methods start to structure every day learning, your own device will become a must. Can we think of working and studying without out our own devices? As most of the applications will be provided by cloud services, it won't be a big problem to create apps for different tablets to use them. - tiina.sarisalmi tiina.sarisalmi Oct 23, 2013- iivanov iivanov Oct 30, 2013 - Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013 - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Nov 3, 2013
  • BYOD means that the institutions have to rethink the kind of digital infrastructure they provide: it must be open to whatever the learners have: mobile phone, tablet, laptop computer, Raspberry Pi, etc. Learners carry their personal digital environment in and out of school. It is the learner who is in control, not the institution that decides what applications they can have or not on their computer. BYOD adds a level of abstraction to the school infrastructure that will facilitate innovation: thanks to the 'cloud' pupils, teachers, parents, individually or collectively will be able to start new digital initiatives without having to ask the authorisation to the IT manager first. - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013 fully agree - u.simmetsberger u.simmetsberger Oct 29, 2013- iivanov iivanov Oct 30, 2013, me too:- Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • This could be relevant indeed, but I think that some limits should be defined to avoid problems with a huge amount of different devices and the problems that could arise. Teachers and school staff should be focusing on teaching and for that reason I think BYOD models should define a set of devices... less freedom, I know, but practical in terms of time and effort... - gabriel.rubio.navarro gabriel.rubio.navarro Oct 30, 2013. Related to this point, I like the discussion in one school district in Texas where kids are the responsible ones to hook their device in school network, not teachers! The school district makes sure that they provide solutions that run on multiple platforms. I think this type of infrastructure thinking is the way forward.- Riina_Vuorikari Riina_Vuorikari Oct 31, 2013
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is the perfect way to do pedagogy on-on-one with smaller founds. Not every teacher and/or student has a tablet PC or a laptor or a smartphone, but almost all of theme have at least one of the devices listed before. Our job is to use them in the school work without extra costs for students or their parents. But we must be aware of all problems that will arise with this. Not all the platforms have the same tools or learning apps. So the management will be very difficult. But I think that if the "BYO" movement in Europe schools will becaome an important issue, the apps producers will follow. - simon.drazic simon.drazic Oct 31, 2013
  • BYOD or BYOT is emerging in my educational system, replacing standardized systems of ICT equiptment with more personalized approaches - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Nov 2, 2013
  • - Neil.Ingram Neil.Ingram Nov 3, 2013I think it is easier to philosophise and eulogise about potential benefits than it is implementing it on the ground! It is contingent on using shared cloud apps (such as google apps). Not all tablets are equally comfortable with Chrome (check out HP Elite pad, for example). Also the boundary between the school being able to check a student-owned device for inappropriate content will need to be spelled out in policies.

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • the theme of formal and informal learning. Today, most of the ICT skills are learned outside school in informal environments and activities. To narrow the digital divide, we need to implement BYOD and integrate ICT in every day learning. - tiina.sarisalmi tiina.sarisalmi Oct 23, 2013 Agreed - Gavin Gavin Oct 30, 2013
  • Dealing with different devices is a great challenge for teachers especially working with pupils of younger age who bring their device but are not aware of basic device management procedures. - stasele.riskiene stasele.riskiene Oct 30, 2013 This could be developed, I agree- gabriel.rubio.navarro gabriel.rubio.navarro Oct 30, 2013 I agree, but with the increase of use, this problem will become smaller - simon.drazic simon.drazic Oct 31, 2013

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on European schools education?

  • This will enable much wider and more versatile use of ICT in classrooms. Teachers and students can learn from each other and new applications and technologies are introduced and will be applied quickly. With increased flexibility, creative solutions and innovations will thrive. I also feel that BYOD will reduce inequality. Now, the students who don't have their own ICT devices get exlcluded and the digital divide grows, however, with BYOD and ICT as part of every day and every lesson learning, everyone will be included in the digital learning. - tiina.sarisalmi tiina.sarisalmi Oct 23, 2013- iivanov iivanov Oct 30, 2013 - gabriel.rubio.navarro gabriel.rubio.navarro Oct 30, 2013
  • BYOD should be connected with the idea contained in the Webmakers initiative from Mozilla: "your device is not just the tool to receive instruction, it is the tool with which you can built the world!" - Serge Serge Oct 25, 2013
  • I think a smart phone is of very little value in most everyday school lessons, and would probably be misused (for texting friends) more than it would be used for real studying. A personal laptop could be immensely valuable, but at present the only ones which have sufficient battery power are too expensive for most school students to own. I think the impact of personal laptops is a few years away, and there will be supervision problems to resolve first. It is not unusual, in meetings of professional people, for participants to be asked to put their laptops away so that the organisers can be sure the participants are listening to the discussion and not answering their emails or reading the news. So you can imagine the difficulties there will be when 16, 17 and 18 year-olds at school get out their laptops at the beginning of a lesson. However, I think being able to use your own laptop at school would be so valuable, in innumerable ways, that teachers will solve these supervision problems ... but it will take a few years. - paul paul Oct 29, 2013 I totally agree! - Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Nov 3, 2013
  • BYOD definitely will focus more on bringing a tablet than on bringing a computer in the classroom in the near future. - u.simmetsberger u.simmetsberger Oct 29, 2013 Agree- guus guus Oct 30, 2013- iivanov iivanov Oct 30, 2013 agree - Pieter.Swager Pieter.Swager Oct 30, 2013 Actually, we already have quite light-weight, tablet-like laptops with touch screen combined with laptop features. I feel we heading towards cloud services, apps and web 2.0 applications that can be used using smart phones, tablets or laptops regardless their make and operation system.- tiina.sarisalmi tiina.sarisalmi Oct 30, 2013 Agree - Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Nov 3, 2013
  • Critically may help some systems find a path to providing sustainable access to technology - Gavin Gavin Oct 30, 2013
  • BYOD can enable a shift from device to pedagogical content - oysteinjohannessen oysteinjohannessen Nov 2, 2013 ... and to innovative pedagogical practices that can reap the benefits of these devices e.g. for personalised and self-directed learning - Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Panagiotis.KAMPYLIS Nov 3, 2013
  • An important impact of BYOD or ADA is the technology- and the information infrastructure at schools. In higher education in the Netherlands institutes are re-thinking their digital learning and working environment because of a paradigm shift. It's no longer the institute that determines how the technology and information infrastructure has to be used, it's the institute that has facilitate different solutions based on the needs of different user groups (students, teachers, researcher, faculty staff) and the technology they use, and at the same time providing a safe network. - Jeroen.Bottema Jeroen.Bottema Nov 3, 2013

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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