What is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)?


BYOD, also referred to as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), refers to the practice of people bringing their own laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices with them to the learning or work environment. 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 implementing BYOD policies, the company has reported up to 5 million hours of annual productivity gains, a statistic that is compelling many other companies to consider BYOD. In schools, the BYOD movement addresses the same reality; many students are entering the classroom with their own devices, which they use to connect to the school’s network. While BYOD policies have been shown to reduce overall technology spending, they are gaining traction more so because they reflect the contemporary lifestyle and way of working. A 2013 Cisco Partner Network Study found that BYOD practices are becoming more common across industries, particularly in education; over 95% of educators surveyed responded that they use their own device for work purposes. Although administrators and educators have cited IT security concerns, technology gap issues, and platform neutrality as challenges to the uptake of this technology, a growing number of models in practice are paving the way for BYOD to enter the mainstream.

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

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

  • We know that HEIs are challenged in meeting the costs of providing/maintaining wi-fi access to keep pace with the demand from students. All students have devices, so BYOD is a reality. But for this to be effective in terms of our expectations of how they will use their own devices, a robust, fast reliable wi-fi service must be available throughout campus. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015- deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 Agree. This must be a top priority if we want to embed digital learning. Funding constraints in terms of provision and support are the major stumbling block. - Gerry.Gallagher Gerry.Gallagher Feb 15, 2015- Alison.Egan Alison.Egan Feb 16, 2015 - ken.brown ken.brown Feb 17, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • BYOD also needs to be allied to a 'desktop virtualisation' approach that allows students access, while on campus, to specialised licensed software needed for their course, that they may not necessarily have an individually licensed copy of. - jimdevine jimdevine Feb 5, 2015 Allied to this is the problem of ensuring that the device the student has is capable of using the software that the institution has provided - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 Variety in student devices, operating systems, etc. has led me to search for compatible Web 2.0 technologies that are non device specific so that all students have access regardless of the type of device they are using. - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • The acceptable usage policies of various third level institutions need to be amended to incorporate what happens on a mobile device, while on the 'campus network'. For example, if someone is downloading illicit material on the college Wifi, who is responsible, if they're doing it on their own private non-college owned device?- Alison.Egan Alison.Egan Feb 12, 2015 Not only must AUP's be updated continuously to reflect different trends etc it is of the utmost importance that students are fully aware of these policies and that we do not assume they understand or are aware of them - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015
  • BYOD strategies must not ignore the exceptions to the rule. While smart devices are widely used and BYOD enhances accessibility, HEIs cannot assume device ubiquitous so careful planning and investment standard learner technology provision for all students is still required.- b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015 Agree - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015 This is particularly important depending on the degree programme that students are engaging with - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015
  • Further to the previous point, assumptions of users' competence with advanced features of devices should be verified in advance of deploying BYOD in learning scenarios. This point extends to the digital capabilities, disposition and literaces of teachers (if this approach is being progressed across entire programmes, for instance).- paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015
  • It is essential that issues of accessability and usability are considered with respect to disabled and visually impaired users.- paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on third-level education in Ireland?

  • It has already impacted every third level college I know - and continues to do so. We are playing catch up in terms of Wifi, accessibility and 'usage' concerns.- Alison.Egan Alison.Egan Feb 12, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015 - paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015
  • HEIs must recognise the ubiquity of smart devices and respond to the drive of fee-paying students for functionality, accessibility and flexibility that these devices can afford. This is both a challenge and an opportunity for the sector. Digital learning platforms and enterprise systems of higher eductaion must be fully responsive and device agnostic. Opportunities lie in improving learner analytics and making the interactions and transactions within learning platforms feel as natural to students as the social media platforms do. There is much debate over permissions and regulation of personal data but the digital generation are more open willing to share their data when they perceive a benefit in return.- b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015 What is of critical importance is who has access to this data and what it is actually used for. - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015 - ken.brown ken.brown Feb 17, 2015 - bonnie.long bonnie.long Feb 20, 2015
  • There is a challenge also for academic staff awareness development to keep pace with media developments and potential. Allied to this is the resourcing of technology support expertise - i.e. the instructional design variety rather than the IT variety - and how sustainable developmemt can be mantined in a fast moving sector with high expectations. - b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015 This is particularly important as increasing demands are made on staff by the institution as well as the students to develop courses / materials which make use of students' devices - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015
  • The implication for wider institutional use of BYOD devices will have a significant impact on ICT student support services if the institution agrees to support this approach. If the institution decides that the responsibility of BYOD learning environments lays with academics and students, provision should me made for technical issues at the teaching and learning level - paul.gormley paul.gormley Feb 22, 2015
  • Ubiquitous wifi infrastructure on campus is already a challenge and must be seen as a minimum expectation. - b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015 - deirdre.butler deirdre.butler Feb 14, 2015- Alison.Egan Alison.Egan Feb 16, 2015- ken.brown ken.brown Feb 17, 2015

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

  • No project specifically, just the day to day reality of trying to control what happens on the internal college network, and making sure our AUP covers it.- Alison.Egan Alison.Egan Feb 12, 2015
  • Yes. A BYOD pilot project has been completed and the findings subsumed by our developing Digital Learning Strategy. - b.murphy1 b.murphy1 Feb 14, 2015

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