Schools are continually facing budget cuts and looking for ways in which they can lower their expenditures. One of the latest trends has been to deal with BYOD or Bring Your Own Device. This is more of a trend than a technological advancement in the field. However, principals and IT departments are scrambling to learn more about what BYOD brings to their industry and if it is just a fad or a long-term solution.
So what is BYOD? It allows staff as well as students to bring in their own devices to the school (like laptops or tablets) and utilize it instead of being provided by schools. This leads to cost savings for schools and flexibility for the staff and students.
While its becoming a necessity to be online all the time – be it for subject matter research or even for project collaboration – more and more schools have facilities that provides always-on internet connection.
A Few Benefits With BYOD
BYOD provides a slew of benefits helps reduce the cost of a school and provide high return on investment. The following benefits need to be considered:
- Less worry about repairs and upgrades.
- Lower costs for IT which can be put into other areas of schooling.
- You don’t really need a large scale program to deploy BYOD initiative in schools.
- Increased workflow for students and staff members.
While it seems that BYOD helps save costs of procuring computers, for calculating the true ROI we also need to take into account the technical support costs and the costs to strengthen device security.
A Few Challenges with BYOD
As previously mentioned, security and technical support pose the biggest challenges for any school wanting to implement BYOD. Security experts will need to secure their networks as they don’t have any control over the end-user’s system. If there is a security hole in a student’s laptop, the IT team will have to put in tighter security measures so that their school network does not get jeopardized.
Technical issues that arise will need to be handled deftly. With BYOD in place, there is virtually no control over which laptops or OS are used by students/ staff. Therefore, the tech staff will have to be trained in troubleshooting diverse technologies.
Another case in point is it cannot be implemented across the board as there might be some students/ staff who cannot afford laptops. The schools will need to provision computers for such cases.