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.

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

  • There is now almost an inevitability to BYOT in education. Failure to open school networks is quickly becoming seen as quaint or anachronistic. Crucially this is not just a technology practice, it is an educational practice. It is based on trust and respect for the learner. Interestingly, parents foten seem to find it easier to trust their kids than schools do. - cpaterso cpaterso Feb 6, 2015
  • School students report frustration with the restrictions they face when using personal devices at schools, the idea that they would tolerate them as adults is untenable. All people are happiest using technology that they control and are familiar with, they expect to be able to use these tools in ways they are comfortable with for all information tasks including their study. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
  • Eventually with higher ed becoming more and more competitive, the economic advantage of BYOD will become too compelling as a alternative to institution-bought devices - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
  • Personalised learning with personalised devices means that learners can seamlessly traverse physical, blended and virtual learning spaces - mike.keppell mike.keppell Feb 26, 2015
  • some evidence IT department are slowly getting it eh? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 28, 2015the other side of the BYOT discussion is the deprecation of the 'student computer lab'. Some argue for the need for specialist software and hardware but outside of an increasingly small number of disciplines, I suspect a more informal networked learning space would be a better use of resources.
  • - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 28, 2015 The other big challenge is BYOT for staff. The balance might be tipping but there is still the tendency for central IT services to prescribe a system and lock it down, preventing innovation...
  • Students come to our campuses with a range of technologies and expect to be able to use them on our wireless network - stephan.ridgway stephan.ridgway Mar 1, 2015
  • It's happening and data shows that students are using their own devices to support their learning whether it is supported or not. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
  • BYOD allows students to learn however and whenever. As the demand for education increases, it seems likely that students will be more likely to be studying at a distance and it makes perfect sense that these students will be using their own devices to access their learning. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015

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

  • There is strong pushback from some as the experience of being constantly wired affects concentration: http://www.pbs.org/mediashift/2014/09/why-clay-shirky-banned-laptops-tablets-and-phones-from-his-classroom/ but that trend has accelerated to a stage where many are beyond BYOT and into digital normalisation, where every student has a powerful and sophisticated suite of digital technologies in their hand for learning.- cpaterso cpaterso Feb 6, 2015
  • Here's the response I made recently on our campus to those wanting to ban devices: "Victoria has a devolved environment with very few constraints on the pedagogical decisions made by staff within courses and programmes. Staff are expected to make decisions that are broadly consistent with those made in other courses so that students experience a coherent programme of study, and this includes allowing students to use effectively a standard set of technological tools.A number of papers and online articles have been appearing where it is claimed that device use is distracting students, both those using the various devices and those seeing others using them. Much of this is anecdote or evidence from artificially constructed contexts that are unlikely to be applicable in Victoria classrooms. The most important factor driving student distraction appears to be their boredom with the material or pedagogical approach. It is very clear that staff adopting active learning approaches have far fewer issues with distracted students.
    Victoria has a Digital Strategy for Learning and Teaching (http://www.victoria.ac.nz/learning-teaching/academic-development/digital-vision) that includes the intention that technology be used to enhance the learning experience in classrooms. Tools such as GoSoapBox are being provided to assist in more interactive large class activities and administrative activities like the collection of student feedback are moving online. The wireless networks are being expanded to help students use the Internet flexibly throughout the campus to support these tools. Banning student device use in individual classes is inconsistent with the broader direction being taken by the University.
    Some students may use technologies, including laptops and tablets, to make recordings or take notes using strategies designed to accommodate disabilities or personal learning preferences. Students with disabilities are often unwilling to discuss their needs in a public forum and may choose not to identify themselves to staff. Consequently, any challenge of student use of technology should be done with care and respect for their rights and autonomy.
    A strategy that appears to balance the various concerns is to remind students at the beginning of a course that they should respect their peers and the teacher and use technology in a manner that is non-disruptive, which may include moving to the rear of any classroom. Students need to learn how to use modern tools as part of their studies, this is strongly required by employers, and part of learning how to use these tools well is their integration into other activities in an effective way. Banning devices does not help students develop the skills needed." - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
  • I think this topic has to acknowledge the combination of online free (or very cheap) 'cloud' services and hosting environments, mobile broadband and inexpensive mobile devices means that students (and staff) can operate autonomously and we only find out about this when they complain about inadequate university services and applications not working in a modern standards-based web. Its very apparent that for urban students and staff it is relatively easy and inexpensive to create a personal online infrastructure, the benefits include control of one's personal information and online identity, a freedom from bureaucratic IT and marketing policies which have failed to keep pace with the changes online. Experience at QUT suggested that students wanted the freedom to arrange their technology use to maximse the social and collegial environment - i.e. working in places with a positive ambience. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
  • There are emerging variations of BYOD. For example, BYOx and BYOA. While related to schools, Education Queensland outlines five possible BYO models (see http://www.brisbanekids.com.au/byox-education-queenslands-bring-your-own-device-program/) which has implications for higher education, particularly of these school students have been using this approach prior to commencing University studies.
    . These involve students bringing:
  • One specific school-selected device.
  • One specific school-selected device – plus students and bring an additional device of their choice.
  • School selected range of approved devices.
  • Any device that meets school determined minimum specifications.
  • Students bring any device which can connect to the internet, suits their learning style and meets their specific curriculum needs.- glenn.finger glenn.finger Feb 17, 2015

  • In terms of BYOD in the education setting does it only apply to the students. What about the educators and its implications for administrators?- steven.knipe864 steven.knipe864 Feb 20, 2015 yeah! count me in! - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • Some mobile device ecosystems are tending towards closed environments with apps specific to that platform, the iBook authoring and ebook system being of particular note, and if this trend continues there could be a significant fragmentation of BYOD to specific platforms in different courses - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 22, 2015
  • BYOT of any device can complicate expectations of all students using a particular app or website in a learning situation if it is not cross platform compatible - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 22, 2015 sure but that's not a reason not to do it - personalisation with mobility- match made in heaven - inconvenient for the university, yes...- gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 27, 2015
  • - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 28, 2015 still need to provide access to those who may not have access to devices via loaner machines or funding
  • - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 28, 2015BYOT requires platform agnostic development - with a degree of lowest common denominator criteria. In a management culture which clamours for 'apps' and 'shiny' this can be a challenge.
  • Supporting a myriad of platforms and devices can be a nightmare for ICT departments. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
  • Connectivity needs to be up to scratch. The load on wifi and 3G/4G networks can be crippling. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
  • Educators need to accept that students will be using their devices in class. Students using their devices during class time are not necessarily using Facebook (though they might be!) - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, or creative inquiry?


  • Students have the facility to create their own work digitally and to harness the networked world outside the classroom but this does rely on teachers changing their practice.- cpaterso cpaterso Feb 6, 2015
  • The advantage of using your own tools is that you know what they can do, you are comfortable with using them and you can build a personal toolset aligned to your work and interests. All of this means that you are able to potentially use these tools throughout your studies to be more productive, rather than being tied to a specific place or set of tools, you can bring them with you to a variety of formal and informal learning contexts. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
  • I think a subtle impact is going to be the shift in organisational perception of its role as an IT infrastructure provider. IT support groups need to start planning for a world where they are no longer in control of the devices and networks being used by staff and students and instead are more like trusted internal consultants advising people on the best tools available from third parties, and responsible for operating a much smaller set of critically strategic and operational core systems (perhaps only student records and identity). - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 10, 2015
  • BYOD is pervasive among higher education students, enabling mLearning. A key implication is that higher education providers are increasingly designing access and interactivity with course materials and content for students on these devices.- glenn.finger glenn.finger Feb 17, 2015
  • Standardised acceptance of file formats to submit work needs to be considered as well as a change in assessment criteria . For example students have a variety of Word processing packages to use (Google Docs, Pages, MS Word, LibreOffice) how is work submitted or assessed by educators who only know one package going to cope. Each of the packages can produce a document in a number of formats be it through templates or from scratch each having an impact on the look and feel of the final product.- steven.knipe864 steven.knipe864 Feb 20, 2015
  • Those who really prosper in BYOD will be those programs that can leverage BYOD well and make cross-platform content work - as well as see it as an opportunity to encourage students to make the tech choices not institutions - jnxyz jnxyz Feb 22, 2015
  • Some institutions are using BYOD and BYOApps as a cost saving on campus labs and software costs, shifting costs to students http://blog.voxer.com/2014/09/15/six-ways-byod-increases-enterprise-productivity-and-profits/
    http://www.infoworld.com/article/2608799/byod/pay-up--the-free-ride-is-over-for-corporate-byod.html - j.zagami j.zagami Feb 22, 2015
  • Essentially, with BYOD educators have to think beyond the device and look more closely at the concepts they are teaching rather than a specific skill - essential as most students at university will be required to demonstrate their ability to unpack concepts rather than just use a specific technology - annieagnew annieagnew Mar 1, 2015
  • When students and educators use a device of choice, they are more confident in taking risks regarding how they use the technology to value add - annieagnew annieagnew Mar 1, 2015
  • Students can and do learn anywhere, anytime and anywhere. This is happening whether it is supported or not. - helen.farley helen.farley Mar 4, 2015
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(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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