What is Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)?


BYOD, also referred to as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), refers to the practice of people bringing their own laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices with them to the learning or work environment. Intel coined the term in 2009, when the company observed that an increasing number of its employees were using their own devices and connecting them to the corporate network. Since implementing BYOD policies, the company has reported up to 5 million hours of annual productivity gains, a statistic that is compelling many other companies to consider BYOD. In schools, the BYOD movement addresses the same reality; many students are entering the classroom with their own devices, which they use to connect to the school’s network. While BYOD policies have been shown to reduce overall technology spending, they are gaining traction more so because they reflect the contemporary lifestyle and way of working. A 2013 Cisco Partner Network Study found that BYOD practices are becoming more common across industries, particularly in education; over 95% of educators surveyed responded that they use their own device for work purposes. Although administrators and educators have cited IT security concerns, technology gap issues, and platform neutrality as challenges to the uptake of this technology, a growing number of models in practice are paving the way for BYOD to enter the mainstream.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to the educational sector you know best?

  • The Internet of Things, aka "BYOD on Steroids" has multiple broad and deep impacts on the educational sector. How do we handle an increasing number of students showing up in Internet-connected vehicles, wearing Internet-connected clothing, carrying multiple Internet-connected devices with the expectation that our schools will be able to meet their expectations for "educational experiences"? Today, technology moves from the home to the classroom rather than the historical reverse.For instance, ed tech planners must face the reality that estimating the amount of bandwidth to support networked digital education requires an affordable, scalable, extensible, nimble and accessible set of network providers because they never really know what is in front of them in the new semester. Public Research and education networks were created for such a complex task. IoT will be one of the most relevant "package deals" that is focusing an ever-increasing diversity of smart devices on the hearts and minds of learners across the entire spectrum of our lives. bear in mind that along with the infrastructure comes the policy, finance, security concerns, and the staff support instructional and technical) required to leverage the inherent potential. In fact the technology is marginally relevant, what you DO with the technology is the core relevancy.- mabbiatti mabbiatti May 18, 2015Mike Abbiatti
  • There is a difference in "kind", not just "degree" when students have 24/7 access to the Internet through a personal device. If students only have access at school, they are dependent on books and paper and limited resources when they are at home. If some students can access digital resources at home, they have an advantage over those who don't (the homework gap.) But until all students can access the Internet any time, they still have to keep all of the old workflow processes and resources around for the 10-20% of the time when they don't have access. Just as greek scholars kept all their learning as an oral tradition until writing became common, students cant transition their cognitive resources and ways of doing work to the digital so long as their access is intermittent. What would you have to do differently if your e-mail, calendar, and google worked 80% of the time? BYOD, when students bring connected devices, can bridge the homework gap and extend digital learning from school to home to all the places in between (after school childcare, work, sports, family obligations, bus rides, etc.)- marieb marieb Jun 14, 2015
  • Security is an issue, but student device usage is primarily directed towards the Internet rather than towards in-district enterprise applications such as student information systems. This means that networks can be constructed to provide access to digital resources and the Internet for untrusted devices as well as providing access to devices on other networks such as home cable access or LTE. - marieb marieb Jun 14, 2015


(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?


  • The fact that the education community, nationwide, K-20 has no IoT Strategy is a missing theme. All of the major business sectors in the US, and many foreign nations have an active IoT Strategy in place or developing Why does the US education community insist on the IoT movement as merely a future mashup of computing devices that should be handled by the computer science folks? After all, the technology solutions will always be a "write a check" issue. What we DO with the technologies involves policy, finance, security,personnel( instructional and technical) decisions. The technologies will change at an ever-increasing pace, the applications will determine the effectiveness of the technology in student success and therefore, economic success.- mabbiatti mabbiatti May 18, 2015Mike Abbiatti- jmorrison jmorrison May 20, 2015- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015
  • 24/7/365 access. The key impact of mobile devices is twofold: accessing your learning community outside the hours of the school day and accessing information at any time. Together these two affordances support and often catalyze student agency and ownership of learning. Without them, the real transformation in teaching and learning doesn't happen because the devices are not fully integrated into student life and are seen as only academic tools rather than as life-wide tools. Due to the expense of 24/7 access for any time, anywhere learning, it is often dropped from the conversation. - marieb marieb Jun 14, 2015 @marieb, there have been programs and initiatives for a few years now to help bridge the gap for those without access to the Internet at home. Specifically, there are internet service providers, such as Comcast, that offer basic services beginning at $9.95 a month to low-income households with children. Here is a news article from the Christian Science Monitor published in 2011 about the beginnings of these types of programs. (http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/06/11/districts-turn-byod-disorder-to-their-advantage.html) - krantanen00 krantanen00 Jun 14, 2015
  • And to follow up on all comments above, the ability and expectation by students (and faculty) to utilize their own devices for multiple functions, most of which involve some level of connection to the campus/institutional network, creates a new level of issues surrounding identify management, data security and application licensing, among others. As requirements for security continue to increase, so will the push and pull between enterprise system requirements and users. (- kim.owen kim.owen Jun 16, 2015)

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on teaching, learning, and creative inquiry?

  • IoT/BYOD on Steroids, has caused the classroom to be extended to a 24/7 learning facility connected to a global resource base. In addition, for better or worse, the contact between instructional staff and learners has been increased due to the fact that the two populations are never more than a keystroke away. The fact that younger teachers live in a world that values such continuous connectivity in their social lives and professional lives makes the teaching,learning, and creative inquiry process a "brave new world". No movement since the invention and popularization of television has opened a wider door to discovery than the IoT phenomenon.- mabbiatti mabbiatti May 18, 2015Mike Abbiatti
  • Too add to what Mike said above, now students will have access to teachers and content from around the globe. It will force teachers to use the technology as a tool for teaching to personalize each student's learning experience.- apowell apowell Jun 8, 2015; (- kim.owen kim.owen Jun 16, 2015)
  • Not only is there benefit in allowing students to use their device of choice in school, it is important to recognize that different devices are appropriate for different tasks. Most people prefer a large screen and keyboard for developing long papers, web sites, or video editing (though that will change as the interfaces on mobile devices evolve) while mobile devices are key for capturing audio/video, augmented reality, or taking advantage of "snippets of time" in line at the store, on a break at work, or in the back seat between after school activities. BYOD recognizes that students may bring multiple devices of different kinds for different purposes, increasing productivity and creativity by having the right tool available for each job. - marieb marieb Jun 14, 2015
  • as stated very well in the points listed above, one positive potential for this technology is in the customization that can be achieved when each user has their own electronic hardware and software available 24/7, allowing them to not only access education content, but also demonstrate their learning through a much broader scope of tools. (- kim.owen kim.owen Jun 16, 2015)

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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