• Timothy Lord

The Advantages and Disadvantages Of BYOD In Schools

Updated: Aug 9, 2020

You might be wondering, “What exactly is BYOD?” It holds true that the traditional educational environment is rapidly becoming a thing of the past. And if there is one policy starting to gain popularity, it is none other than the Bring Your Own Device or BYOD. It basically refers to students bringing their own personal devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, among many others.

They bring these devices into the school grounds. What is more, they use them to access applications, data, and systems of their respective schools. Apparently, there are many advantages and disadvantages associated with BYOD programs. And if you have no concrete knowledge about them, you have come to the right place.

Advantages of BYOD

Reduced Costs – Sure, not all schools can see cost savings from a BYOD program. However, many of them can benefit from the idea of not having to purchase devices for their students. Plus, the latter could have better chances of taking care of these devices since they own them. As a result, educational institutions could save thousands of dollars from repairs.

Increased Flexibility – This is definitely another interesting advantage of BYOD. It simply gives the much-needed flexibility in any educational environment. Not only do these programs offer new school communication opportunities, but they enable students to study anywhere they possibly can think of. Be it at the library or the canteen, students have the flexibility to simply access their device and learn whatever subjects or topics they are into.

Learning With Familiar Tech – A huge part of the overall educational process is being able to connect to new knowledge with the old. This is one of the main reasons why students are being asked to talk about their family vacations or write what they want to be when they grow up. Basically, it makes the entire process personal; hence, it is yet another huge advantage to BYOD in an educational environment. When students are able to use their devices in school, they can just skip the awkward part of the class where they must learn how to use them. Not only is the latter can be a complete waste of time, but it can also bring confusion that disrupts the learning process. BYOD can enable teachers to have more time to discuss the actual lesson. Students, on the other hand, can be more receptive.

Disadvantages of BYOD

Security – This is arguably the biggest challenge schools – or even any other organizations in the world – have to face when it comes to BYOD programs. And with how technology has affected people across the world with their personal information, security is definitely a huge concern. With these programs, students may be able to access sensitive information using their own personal device. Heck, they could even manage this information without the school’s management knowing it. For instance, a student could easily access a forbidden website during school hours. If the device is managed by the educational institution, a program could be put in place in order to block students from accessing this type of websites.

Disparaging to Lower-Income Students – It cannot be denied that BYOD is great for schools of any size or shape. However, it can only be really beneficial to the more affluent areas. Remember that many regions across the world are simply not ready for it. Poorer students will have to face more difficulties than the much capable ones. The former, in particular, is not ready to access these devices. And even if they are forced to buy them, they just could not. That is because they do not have the financial resources to do so. And by not being able to buy these devices, their participating in a classroom setting could be impacted.

Reducing the Quality of Education – This one right here is somehow connected to the aforementioned (Disparaging to Lower-Income Students). However, it is positioned this way due to the way it is to be understood. Imagine a school where BYOD is a must. Unfortunately, there are those who cannot afford it or perhaps they could but only to cheaper ones (which could also mean affecting the longevity and/or performance of these devices). As such, the quality of education of a student can get is now based on whether or not he/she has access to BYOD. If not, he/she will definitely have trouble coping with other students.

The Final Verdict

While technology-based learning certainly has its own merits within the classroom, it is still not an ideal policy for every student out there. In a nutshell, it boils down to the facility itself and the individuals working within a school. Enacting BYOD programs is easier said than done. There are tons of variables to consider, and missing even the tiniest of details could prove detrimental to the overall result.

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