5th August 2015

Pros and cons of BYOD in schools

Research from YouGov from 2014 shows that 81% of UK 13-18 year olds own their own smartphone, with 34% also owning a tablet. The research also shows that 70% of children are confident in using mobile devices by the time they begin primary school. Because of these statistics, the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in schools debate seems to be raging on. So what are the practical pros and cons of implementing a BYOD scheme in your school?

Pros

  • Devices are an everyday part of life today and students always have them in their bag or pocket.
  • Students tend to look after their own devices better than school property.
  • It allows students to have access to all the latest technology at no cost to the school.
  • It gives the ability to be spontaneous in lessons
  • Having students use their devices that they are familiar with means there is no need for an introduction on how to use them.
  • Encourages students to carry on learning outside of the classroom.
  • Implementing a BYOD scheme means that pupils have access at home to the exact resources they have been using during the school day.

Cons

  • Some pupils may not have access to the latest and most up to date devices. All families inevitably have different budgets, and more often than not, some pupils will have the latest gadgets, whilst others will not.
  • Resistance from teachers in integrating it into their lessons
  • Devices may run out of battery. Many smartphone and laptop batteries struggle to last a full school day, especially when they are constantly switched on and in use.
  • Will the devices be secure? It is all too easy for kids to throw their bags out of the way at break and lunchtimes, and forget about them, leaving expensive devices unsecured.
  • Students misuse of the system and accessing inappropriate content.

According to an article in the June/July issue of Education Technology Magazine, Tibshelf secondary school in Derbyshire are currently exploring the benefits of BYOD for its 700 students. As well as using the devices to do research and to use apps, the teachers at Tibshelf also found that some students are taking photos of things on the board such as diagrams and equations as it is an easy way to capture information.

Security is a huge concern for many schools, not only keeping the network safe but also having the right storage and charging is essential. It is important to ensure that you provide the right kind of storage, security and availability of lockers as well as a number of charging methods to support the multitude of devices available today. Not all devices are the same and this needs to be considered when introducing BYOD into a school, you need to provide a universal solution that is manageable and cost effective.

For schools thinking of introducing a BYOD scheme, the “LapSafe® Diplomat™ PIN ChargeLine” would be the best charging option; a single 13 amp UK or Euro socket is conveniently positioned inside the locker bay for the user to use their own AC adaptor for charging. Each locker tower is powered from a single 13 amp fused spur and is fully power-managed. All devices can charge at the same time. The Diplomat™ PIN lockers are fitted with sophisticated electronics to manage ‘safe’ power for the user as well as the devices as standard. Diplomat™ PIN includes protection for in-rush, power surge and residual voltage protection for the user and the device at all times.

Contact us today for a quote