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. In practice, it has proven important to provide funds to support students in financial need, and to standardize on a small set of devices and software packages. 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 higher education, 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?

  • in my institution I'm not sure 'rising costs' is the key driver, nor that qwe really trying to provide 1 to 1 learning- much much more about life integrated learning and exploting multiple learning locations - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 6, 2014
  • - kevinashfordrowe kevinashfordrowe Feb 8, 2014I agree with Gilly that it is really the requirement to meet the learner's express demand to utilise their technologies of choice as opposed to those that we define as the mechanisms of access including, their determining where they will want to learn. Agree - jason.maddern jason.maddern Feb 17, 2014 I totally agree. It's the pull factor v the traditional push factor. - s2.vaughan s2.vaughan Feb 18, 2014
  • Our experience in the Library is that we need to provide support for a range of devices. Less students are coming to Uni with their laptops they are bring devices (portability) or their phone. By support I mean ensuring that students can access University networks etc.. ensuring that content is accessible, readable and usable on the device. - ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • BYOD, which arguably began with students in schools bringing digital calculators into maths classes (if not sliderules a generation earlier) embodies the idea that our education must seamlessly integrate into other spheres of life. By supporting BYOD, institutions provide learning opportunities that allow people to make best use of the rich range of tools while developing their own cognitive capacity in a complementary way. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 20, 2014
  • BYOD is a subset of a bigger theme. in my mind, institutions need to have a conversation about whether the paradigm of 'controlling' technologies (hardware, software, platforms etc) is still sustainable. This applies to devices, but also to broader technological solutions - and to staff as well as students. Given the ability to draw on a range of tools (which can often be 'better' than those owned by the university), how do we best enable and empower all users. - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014

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

  • BYOD is only worth it if the learning design with own devices adds value - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 6, 2014
  • BYOD requires cross platform websites/systems/apps which follow open standards such as HTML5 (we don't want another iOS FLASH debacle). Not all apps are available within the iTunes/Android/Windows market place, etc. The other elephant in the room is the exponential IT support, user training, and user/student support required to successfuly implement a BYOD strategy- jason.maddern jason.maddern Feb 17, 2014
  • Agree with both Gilly and Jason here. Platform independence is important. No point in putting resources into developing apps if they are not going to add anything to the student and learning experience.- ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • - daniel.ingvarson daniel.ingvarson Feb 20, 2014 I agree with Jason - the need to simplify the service delivery vector is important for vendors, if they have to support anything then the costs to the apps and sites will be to high. There is a term which I cannot accurately remember but its some like "bring your own compliant web browser" which is actually being rolled out - and many players are seeing the Web as the delivery vector because of the issues of managing and deploying cross platform apps
  • Agree with Jason re the IT support and the wide range of user training - big strategic issues for campuses to consider.- joanne.woodrow joanne.woodrow Feb 20, 2014
  • I disagree to some extent, as I think the challenge is to realise that BYOD is rapidly changing to encompass the idea that you bring your own IT infrastructure (including incidentally a device or devices) - BYOIT? Students and staff are starting to realise the potential benefits of having a personal 3/4/5G wireless connection, combined with a suite of personal cloud based tools and services (including the Amazon AMI providing very cheap servers). These are increasingly commodity tools provided by third party vendors in a model that minimises any need to obtain support or training in the tool itself. For me, I see this as something that will help internal IT operations move from a 'support' model more typically characterised by control strategies aimed at minimising costs, to a consultancy model typified by agility and innovation. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 20, 2014
  • Staff perception that BYOD leads to distracted students - there are still folk who want IT departments to install network 'kill' switches in classrooms to stop learners from using phones, tablets, laptops, etc. in class. Need for communication and support about the benefits and practices. - David.Cameron David.Cameron Feb 22, 2014
  • Agree with much of the above. New paradigms around IT support (and funding of projects to allow ongoing development), platform neutrality etc are key discussions. - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014
  • It might be worth mentioning Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs) in this context as often a BYOD strategy in higher education requires consideration of VLE - c.macken c.macken Feb 23, 2014c.macken

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

  • its the PLE finally isnt it? - gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 6, 2014 Yes - we're already seeing how personal devices provide instant access to a great many resources other than those the teacher or institution provides. The teacher role changes and needs to include delivery strategies that enable students to gather, filter and curate content relevant to the subject - michael.coughlan michael.coughlan Feb 16, 2014
  • Shifting to a networked, flatter, convergent world, upsurge in cloud-based computing, finally shifting away from paper-based teaching, teaching and learning 24/7, digital empowerment of young people. (- cpaterso cpaterso Feb 14, 2014)
  • Continous access (especially with multiple free wifi networks, expanded university coverage, increased home internet accessibility) students remain connected at times which suit. Teachers need to look at ways of achieving asynchronous engagement within activities to suit the mobile methodology, and ensure that products are accessible across multiple platforms (which is the difficult aspect). - jason.maddern jason.maddern Feb 17, 2014
  • Agree with both Gilly and Jason here to: devices enable people to build their own communities of practice that go beyond the classroom and access to tools that support learning that might not be supported or endorsed by the University. Also need to think about digital literacies if the so called digital natives don't come with the skills to be responsible digital citizens in a learning environment. Can these skills be supported by online courses in digital literacy uses open badges (just a thought)? - ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • I agree. We recently asked some of our students to draw their learning ecologies and they drew startlingly similar things - in order of importance - peers number one, then online resources (often curated by them individually or together, then 'offline' resources (eg textbooks etc) then lecturers! - s2.vaughan s2.vaughan Feb 18, 2014
  • I think the shift from the organisational to the personal is going to help sustain a greater focus on technologies that make an individual more capable. Devices like iPhones and Glass are starting to provide models of how personal devices can provide contextualised information and services that augment our capabilities mentally, in much the same way as hammers augment us physically. The challenge (recognised by researchers looking at attentive UIs) is to ensure that we are not impaired. This includes recognising the ways in which these tools can help us manage the negative aspects of continual communication and relentless socialisation. - stephen.marshall stephen.marshall Feb 20, 2014
  • Again, agree with most of the above. BYOD suggests an empowerment of the user that opens the door to building things - communities, projects, platforms etc. Of course it's a big step from allowing an android phone access to the network to engaging staff and students in the vast range of possibilities. But BYOD might just be an essential first step.- sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014

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

  • Swinburne going all out for this in 2014- gillysalmon gillysalmon Feb 6, 2014
  • Reviewed rolling out iPad (locking device and platform to be used), however determined that the majority of our student body already owned personal devices (60% Android). Requirement of students to purchase items that they did not want to use (even if subsidised) was met with frustration. Hence connected Google Analytics to our key student systems to determine which devices (mobile, tablet, pc) and which browsers (IE, Safari, Firefox, Chrome, etc.) our students utilised to access our systems - key result was that, due to the varying device/platforms used, BYOD was really the only methodology going forward to support the needs of all learners. Subsequently, we have reviewed the wifi network to ensure it supports all devices, have purchased multiple devices for IT testing, and ensure that any developments we do follow open standards to assist functionality on any platform/device (although cannot be 100% guaranteed). - jason.maddern jason.maddern Feb 17, 2014
  • UWA says explicitly that they support BYOD http://www.is.uwa.edu.au/it-help/students/byod Swinburne's teaching and learning plan explicit about mobile and University developing a mobile strategy - ktairi ktairi Feb 18, 2014
  • MQ strives for platform neutrality. With mixed success (particularly with some legacy systems). - sherman.young sherman.young Feb 22, 2014

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