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Bring Your Own Device: Pros & Cons in Schools

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Should personal smartphones, tablets, and laptops be permitted in schools? What benefits and risks may be involved? Some schools participate in bring your own device programs. This lesson will discuss the pros and cons of bring your own device.

Bring Your Own Device

Take a moment to look around the next time you are in a public place. It is likely that many of the people you see will have a smartphone or similar device in their hands. Perhaps they are scrolling or gaming. Maybe some are texting. Some may even be involved in a conversation on their device. It is no surprise that personal devices are everywhere. However, should they be in schools?

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is a current trend in education. It allows students to bring their personal devices to school and access the school wireless network with them. The idea is that these devices will become vehicles for learning. There are some who believe that this is an excellent way to broaden education. Others believe that BYOD introduces many dangers for students.

Now that we know what BYOD is, let's take a look at both sides of the issue.

Pros Of Bring Your Own Device

Many people view smartphones, tablets, and laptops as essential for learning, so logic would say that BYOD is a win-win for students and schools. Let's look at some ways that BYOD benefits students and schools.

Reduced Costs

Imagine the cost of providing a laptop, tablet, or computer for every student in a school! With BYOD, students and their families are responsible for purchasing their own devices. This means that schools are largely off the hook with spending for technology. The need for computers and laptops naturally decreases, so schools spend less money on these things.

Ownership

Think of rentals for a moment. No matter whether it is an apartment, a car, or something else entirely, it is common knowledge that most renters do not show the same level of care and responsibility as owners do. When students own their personal devices, they may be more likely to take care of them. In addition, they may be less likely to forget them because of this sense of ownership.

Familiarity

Think about how you feel when you use someone else's computer or device. For most of us, it feels awkward because we are not familiar with it. BYOD eliminates the need for extensive training because each student likely has a high level of comfort and familiarity with their own device.

Increased Opportunity

There is an app for almost everything these days, isn't there? With BYOD, students have the ability to study innumerable subjects. This increases opportunity for learning because they are not limited to the school resources. Digital literacy also improves as students rely on their devices for accessing and completing assignments

Increased Access

With everything being digitized online, students have unlimited access to coursework, forms, grades, and even records twenty-four hours a day. This increased access can help students stay plugged in academically even when away from campus. In short, school becomes mobile.

Increased Performance

You've probably realized by now that BYOD programs can help students stay engaged in school. This naturally adds to performance. Therefore, BYOD programs can help to increase performance and academic achievement for students.

Cons Of Bring Your Own Device

You've heard many benefits that can result from BYOD programs in schools. However, these programs are not without controversy. Let's take some time to explore the cons of BYOD now.

Overwhelmed Network

If every student and teacher is plugged in and working at the same time, what could happen? The network might become overwhelmed and crash. That could spell disaster when students rely on a solid connection to access and complete work. Therefore, an overwhelmed network is a significant concern with BYOD programs in schools.

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