Bring Your Own….Device?

Posted: October 31, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

As we rocket through this course and the speed of technological development incrementally increases, I have become increasingly aware of the idea of “bringing your own device.”  I have read a comment or two in our eci831 chat room and most recently heard a Senior Administrator discuss the concept at a recent meeting. In my own classroom, students have asked me why they cannot access the wireless network at our school with their individual electronic devices. At a school I know of, the senior high book club started using electronic book readers but were unable to access the wireless server to download new books. The teacher supervisor was taking the readers home, downloading the books and then bringing them back to school. The situation was rectified, however, this specific issue does beg the question; can we open up our classrooms to all electronic devices or are we opening ourselves up to a host of issues we aren’t prepared to deal with appropriately?

During our time as educators, we are all probably familiar with people opening notebooks (the coiled kind) or turning on voice recording devices and perhaps using laptops in classroom settings and business meetings.  The idea of “bringing your own device” allows people to bring in their own device, possibly access a wireless network and then contribute. People can use their own technology, it is familiar to them and they feel comfortable using it. The students in this video understand this.

The concept of allowing people to bring their own wireless devices into a classroom setting and then, if need be, accessing a wireless network is a very revolutionary concept in my experience. Allowing these devices poses many questions regarding security, accessibility for those who cannot afford the technology as well as whether or not the technology is being used appropriately. If the technology needs IT support, who looks after that?

I’ve focused on this topic this weekend and have found some links of interest regarding this topic. I’d be interested in hearing how this trend is being viewed in your school or organization. What are the benefits and risks?

I have linked some of my reading below. Have a great week!

1) What if students cannot afford the technology? I’m not really sure if I like the title of this post, however, some practical ideas are offered.

2) How does a “BYOD” program work? Readers must subscribe to read the entire article.

3) A very informative article on some of the ins-and-outs of a “BYOD” program.

4) A really cool web tool that I would like to explore. Wiffiti.com looks like the ideal web tool to allow people to easily use their own devices to contribute in most settings.

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Comments
  1. lorenaleibel says:

    Exciting week for my school in regards to BYOD!!! Our students are allowed on the network…as of last Wednesday! The kids were so excited…the very next day I had half of my class bring their laptops as they were working on a class presentations.

    • Thanks Lorena, regarding the children who brought their own laptops…I’m wondering what their engagement levels were when they were allowed to bring their own devices? I’m assuming pretty high. Thanks for sharing.

  2. taylorm says:

    My school division has recently allowed students internet access on their own devices as well. While at the same time restricting teachers use of email on their own devices. In my class access is not usually necessary, yet. So much of their time is social rather than educational. I would love to see the students in my school as engaged in using their devices for learning as the ones in the video! Did you produce the video as well?

    • mickpanko says:

      The idea that students can access the network and teacher email on their own BYOD is laughable. It takes technology out of the hands of people that are trying to engage in its use for what???

      Dean – I appreciate the resources I have done a fair bit of reading on this topic too and was going to blog about it – now I have you as a resource and can move to a new topic – Thanks!!!

  3. lbechard says:

    Whether we agree with it or not, bring your own device is alive and well in post-secondary and even in many K-12 schools. My son had to go to school with a laptop in Grade 12 when his high school adopted a 1 to 1 computing program. My daughter has needed to buy her own Clicker device in university. In our College, if students bring their own device, a huge gap exists in support for the devices as well as protocols and classroom expectations (both from other students and from instructors). When I go to class, whether that is an online or f2f course, I have the ability to bring my device and use it (or not). Having my own device has not been mandatory, but having access to some devices is sometimes assumed. Even for ECI831, the course did not specify that we had to have any type of device, could use whatever we had access to – Mac, PC, Android, mobile, desktop, etc. We could use the tools at work if we didn’t have our own. If students bring their own devices to College, we don’t support them… no one will trouble shoot them and the risk of loss stays with the student. Even in high school, we were advised to have our own insurance.

    Many projects either use a “cart-like” program where students borrow devices that were purchased by the school / college or a library program where they borrow a device using similar processes to borrowing a library book or a purchase program – required resource just like a textbook. Bring your own device is really the only sustainable way of going forward. Technology changes too quickly for schools to be replacing their devices to keep up and passing on the cost to students is only more likely to occur in the future.

    I think the idea that students use paper notebooks in only appropriate ways is naive. Just as technical devices can be used inappropriately, so can paper – doodling, making paper airplanes, shooting hoops, passing notes, etc. My son never got into trouble for using his computer inappropriately at school, but he surely did drawing inappropriate pictures in his notebook!

    Sorry for rambling… your post really got me thinking.

  4. Thanks for this post, Dean. You have linked to some great resources and raised important issues. I am going to direct you to a great post by Gary Stager who heavily critiques the idea of BYOD. I think it’s required reading on the subject http://stager.tv/blog/?p=2397

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