The Pros and Cons of BYOD

Tech Tips

The Pros and Cons of BYOD

BYOD ImageThis year more and more schools are allowing students to “bring your own device” or BYOD. It’s a popular trend, especially in large southern cities like Atlanta and Houston, that capitalizes on a student’s attachment to technology and uses it to benefit learning in the classroom.

This practice hasn’t been adopted nation-wide yet, and some say it’s for good reason. We took a deeper look into some of the popular arguments for and against BYOD policies.

PROS
1. Saves Time and Resources
By eliminating the cost of furnishing computers or tablets in classrooms, BYOD policies provide flexibility in school budgets, allowing them to allocate funds to other programs. It also increases teacher productivity by allowing online tests/quizzes, educational apps for test prep and games to keep students engaged in the learning process.

2. Supports Thinking
A primary skill learned in school is the development of problem solving skills. Not only does an integrated-tech classroom allow for the use of apps and internet games to teach these skills, the very act of using technology presents its own lessons. How many times has your computer stopped working for no reason? Wouldn’t it be nice to have learned how to fix that, or at least cope with it, in high school?

3. Prepares Students for the Future
Technology has integrated into every aspect of our lives, so much so that kids are getting phones as young as age 5 (but that’s a different story)! Being tech savvy is no longer optional in the work place, and giving students a jump start in school will only help them build their technical skills as they progress through high school and college.

CONS
1. Isolates Students Socially
Depending on how technology is used in the classroom, it can isolate students and stunt their social growth. Instead of working on a group project with others in the class, now students can collaborate on “virtual” teams where they never have to interact in person. Depending on how it’s used, this technology can interfere with students’ social skills development.

2. Highlights Inequalities
Not all students show up on the first day of school with an iPhone 5 and a MacBook in their backpacks. Although most students get their first cellphone by age 12 (66% according to an Asurion survey) a lot of times they get their parent’s old phone or a hand-me-down from the junk drawer. These may not be smartphones with internet or app access. A BYOD policy would put these students at a disadvantage and limit their participation in classroom activities.

3. Difficult to Monitor
As many parents know, the internet offers an endless worm hole for students to surf and discover, and a lot of that content is not age appropriate. In order for BYOD policies to be productive and safe in the classroom, schools will need to implement strict technology policies and firewalls to protect students from finding inappropriate content when they are doing school work.

As BYOD policies gain in popularity around the country, it’s important to know what your child’s school is doing to monitor technology in the classroom. For more information on BYOD, check out this article written by the New York Times this spring.

What’s your view? Should kids be encouraged to BYOD and use more technology in the classroom? Leave us a note below.