WK 9: BYOD Policy in School

According to Wikipedia (revised July, 2016), ” Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to a policy permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices…and use those devices to access privileged company information and applications.” Policies for BYOD seem to be popping up in many places such as several workplaces, libraries and schools.


A few positives mentioned by Peter Martini (2013) are :

^ [an] “increase in student and teacher collaboration”

^”extended learning beyond the traditional classroom walls”

^”cutting costs for many school districts”

The benefits mentioned above are a step in the right direction towards the support of BYOD policies in schools but what are some issues that schools (and other companies) may run into if students are allowed to furnish their own devices. Martini’s article summarizes the largest issue lies with security.

NeaToday has a good article asking “Should Schools Embrace “BYOD?’ by Emma Chadband (2012). Chadband offers a few benefits to BYOD being cheaper for districts and making a flipped classroom more attainable for students. Further down the article, Chadband also explains BYOD policy may lead to costing extra money by having to train the teacher to use equipment. According to Andrea Prejean, from the Chadband  (2012) article, “Without proper planning, implementation and professional development, BYOD may not work as people have hoped. This again falls onto what the teacher is comfortable with fitting into their classroom because the PD may not be district funded.

What does the future hold for this emerging technology of BYOD in education? An article from Tim Panagos (2013) from Wired labeled The Future of Education: BYOD in the Classroom attempts to find an answer. Panagos states that “schools across the globe are testing out a more dynamic learning environment.” Many of the schools are pushing for a BYOD policy but many parents still have valid concerns as we have seen in numerous other articles. Panagos writes that a few of these concerns are:

  • Distractions of games and videos
  • Unmonitored social networking leading to bullying or predation
  • Consumption (and creation) of inappropriate content
  • Social status and stigma of devices

Panagos would like parents to understand that change is already here and states that” the human condition is radically improved by the immediacy of information and social interconnectedness that these devices enable.” He may be onto something to the effect of this “condition” is a way of life for many but it also not as deeply sought after in some communities and it may be that parents are just not ready for their young children to be exposed to more information than necessary.


Chadband, E. (2012) Should Schools Embrace “Bring Your Own Device”? Retreived from http://neatoday.org/2012/07/19/should-schools-embrace-bring-your-own-device/ on July 12, 2016.

Martini, P. (2013) 4 Challenges That Can Cripple a School’s BYOD Program. Retreived at http://www.teachthought.com/uncategorized/4-challenges-can-cripple-schools-byod-program/ on July 13, 2016.

Panagos, T. (2013) The Future of Education:BYOD in the Classroom. Retreived from http://www.wired.com/insights/2013/09/the-future-of-education-byod-in-the-classroom/ on July 15, 2016.

Wikipedia Retreived from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bring_your_own_device on July 12, 2016.


5 thoughts on “WK 9: BYOD Policy in School”

  1. You would think you don’t need professional development to have students use BYOD, right? Well, it would definitely help, but not necessary. I suppose I’m lucky to be a little tech savvy, but not everyone is like me. There are only a handful of operating systems for devices, so training would not be extensive. You could probably get away with a full day training for the most common systems (iOS, Windows, Android, Google Chrome, Linux) Most educators should be familiar with iOS and Windows, but it wouldn’t hurt to provide it. With this limited PD, teachers could be confident in helping students with their own device. I don’t recall any inservice training that I have participated that included training in tech. Too bad. It is the future and we need to prepare. What’s that saying? “Adapt or Die!”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gerald, You’ve never had tech inservice in your district? That’s insane! I wonder if I am such a fan of tech in the classroom because I (unknowingly) come from districts that happen to prioritize tech and tech training. Interesting.

      Also, I can’t help but reiterate to both of you, one of the merits of BYOD is that we the teachers don’t have to be trained on their devices because the students already know them. I think that’s the heart of BYOD. And in my experience, if a student’s device is acting up and s/he really can’t figure it out, usually it’s his or her neighbors who help him, not me anyway. I also always keep a couple scrappy devices around (old laptops, a couple iPod touches, an old iPad) just in case.

      And Laura, I can’t tell you how refreshing I find it that the children in your community aren’t already inundated with devices. Even in the village where I used to teach, kids as young as 1st grade had devices. I thought that was crazy. I also think the situation is so different for younger kids. The latest report I heard said that up until age 12, screen time should be extremely limited, and it scares me how much time younger kids spend on devices. But after 12 (so the age of my students), the effects on the brain don’t seem to be (as?) negative. (But I can’t cite that study so I could be misremembering!) Furthermore, I completely understand a parent wanting control over his or her children’s device use, but I also have to say, not having BYOD does not necessarily increase a parent’s control over their child’s tech use, since schools have their own tech too (laptop carts, etc), and if a teacher plans a lesson that involves tech, that student will either use his own phone or the classroom laptop. Either way, he’s on.

      The world is changing and it’s hard for me to know where to draw the line. Do I refuse to embrace tech at the risk of stifling my students, or do I go whole hog and risk using methods that are not fully researched yet? Obviously the answer seems to always be to find a happy middle, but how do we know where that is?


      1. We actually have tech inservices, but not specifically BYOD training. Tech is highly encouraged in the learning process. Is it used by all? No. Sometimes I wish we were given “directives” to use technology. In fact, our middle school has a 1:1 program with Apple MacBooks. Do all teachers use this tech in the class? No. It kind of defeats the purpose and effort to have 1:1. I will have a class set of Chromebooks this fall and plan to utilize them in math class (I’m high school math), but sometimes I wish I had a class set of iPads. Thanks for your perspective!


  2. Thank you for your insight into the human condition. One person’s opinion of how more easily accessible technology improves the human condition doesn’t speak for everyone. Some people may just be against byod because they simply don’t want their children exposed to so much technology. I know that I really strictly limit my own boys’ screen time, because they’re so young. I just don’t think too much is good for them. That “too much” level is different for different parents and it’s important to allow parents the autonomy to do what they think is best for their kids.


  3. The four concerns with BYOD that you shared are valid for parents, but I also see those as concerns that teachers have as well. It can be tricky to monitor a class of 25 or 30 students all using devices at the same time to make sure they are staying on task and not doing inappropriate things during class. I think those four things are big reasons that more teachers aren’t completely on board with using BYOD in their classrooms. I am in favor of BYOD policies when they have the proper support, like PD for teachers. I think if districts want to do BYOD, they need to provide PD for the teachers. This will help them become more comfortable with BYOD, and hopefully solve the four concerns mentioned above.


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