BYOD in schools: The good, the bad, the solution.

I know I’m not supposed to say this, but I knew this might be happening soon. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) might get banned at my school. While it’s only in talks, I thought I would just share my thoughts on BYOD from a student perspective, and give possible solutions for schools on the verge.

 

The Pros:

  1. It costs less money for schools to do BYOD vs. 1:1. All a school has to do with BYOD is just maintain the network.
  2. Students are bringing in their own devices that they’re psychologically comfortable with. I love bringing in my laptop versus my Chromebook because it has a bigger screen, a better keyboard, and a better trackpad. It’s all psychologically more comfortable to me, and probably to students.
  3. Students usually stay up-to-date on the latest in technology, so schools don’t have to worry about staying on the cutting-edge of what’s coming out on the daily.
  4. (slightly biased) Students will know that they have full control over their devices, so that schools can’t spy on them outside of school. Another big reason I participate in BYOD.
  5. Students are already familiar with their devices, so the learning curve is just non-existent when getting a new device. This can be nulled out with evidence, since OSes like Chrome OS are super easy to use.
  6. As more and more services (like Kahoot, Quizlet, etc.) that are used in the classroom have native support for a bunch of OSes, platform issues are mostly non-existent these days.
  7. Schools don’t have to pay for repair costs if a kid’s laptop breaks. They go to a repair shop (or repair it on their own (which then teaches kids STEM skills (which then ends up being a great thing) (which ends up being a life skill))) on their own time) and fix the laptop with their money.

The Cons:

  1. Technology can become a status symbol in classrooms. This usually means that Apple computers show the status of a “rich kid”. Thankfully, there isn’t a problem like such in my school, but there probably are issues in others.
  2. Everyone won’t be on an equal playing platform. Some poorer students who attend school may only have a phone with a cracked screen, while others may have more fancier laptops
  3. Networks need to be extra beefed up for BYOD programs, as there’s a variety of devices and OSes hopping onto the network at any time, and bypassing becomes easier with a non-managed laptop.
  4. BYOD devices, if not maintained properly, can be huge security holes for schools.

 

The Solution:

A mixed 1:1 and BYOD solution. If schools decide to do a BYOD system, ask around, and make sure kids want a managed Chromebook, or device, whatever the case may be. If they want to bring their own device, let them, but make sure that kids who aren’t doing BYOD, or don’t have their own device they want to bring in, get a 1:1 Chromebook. Schools should equally support 1:1 and BYOD, but make sure that they beef up their security before deploying a mixed program.

 

I love BYOD, since it lets me work on educational projects while in school. On a Chromebook, there’s no efficient ways to code Python, or a website without jumping through a ton of hoops. I can also totally get how kids are more comfortable with bringing in their own device, versus a 1:1 Chromebook.

 

Just thought I’d write a little opinion on the subject.

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