BYOD – will it impact iPads in schools?

There is a trend taking place throughout the corporate world that has the potential to significantly impact schools. The trends is being called BYOD – bring your own device. What’s happening in business is employees – everyone from the manufacturing floor, to secretaries, to sales people, to the executive suite and boardroom – are bringing their personal mobile devices with them to work. They are doing that because their experience – with smart phones and tablets – is one they are liking and getting value from.

People are now expecting to have the same kind of experience they have in their personal lives in their work lives with their technology. As someone I know recently said, “consumers want to be the Yoda of their technological universe.”

By bringing their own devices to work, employees are putting pressure on companies/employers to provide them with the same kind of experience to support them in getting their work done.

This trend is creating a significant amount of impact on IT organizations. Here’s a quote from a recent article about this:

A global survey of IT directors by CIO Barometer indicates that employees are increasingly taking control of IT, as 45 percent of respondents indicate that their personal hardware and software are more useful to them than the tools and applications provided by their company.

Also, while the consumerization trend is having a positive impact on employee morale as indicated by 88 percent of survey participants believing that the use of personal devices increases employee job satisfaction, lingering concerns still exist with 72 percent of companies citing increased security incidents from the use of mobile devices.

Additional highlights include:

  • 33 percent of businesses surveyed state that their primary motivation for adopting cloud computing is the ability to offer greater access to information, with the second most important motivating factor is cost reduction.
  • 57 percent of respondents cite that their top activity for making IT more environmentally friendly is to reduce overall energy consumption, with replacing PCs and IT components coming in as the second most cited activity for going green.
  • 43 percent of respondents agreed that IT projects were the number one costliest element of last year’s budget, a dramatic rise for this factor, which came in at number 11 the previous year.
  • 75 percent of companies are outsourcing more than a quarter of their IT services as compared to 30 percent from the 2011 CIO Barometer.
  • 40 percent of companies are increasing their IT budgets despite a slow economic recovery in Europe and the United States.

This trend will no doubt have an impact on schools across the country. Employees and students will be bringing their own devices and expecting to connect to school networks and school applications and school data – and expecting to have an experience similar to what they are having in their homes (which is positive and adds value).

Schools will have to adopt – or, as has been in the past, continue to be out of step and disconnected from other aspects of life. Some schools already have cell phone policies. A few schools are embracing cell phones and taking advantage of them as part of the learning process. What happens when students start bringing their own iPads or other tablet to school? Will schools embrace them or take them away – or ban them?

What’s your experience? What’s your point of view?

Add to that trend the continual move towards workers working at home – and the tools and  technologies that support them getting better and better, and you’ve got another force that will significantly impact young people in their personal lives. This trend and it’s implications will spill over to the school environment.

If students experience streaming content to their big screen TVs and ever increasing any time any where access to information/content – they may have a harder time sitting in a seat in a traditional classroom listening to a lecture by a teacher using an overhead projector (they are still being used!).

What will all this mean to the school building? Will they survive? If so, what will they look like five years from now (what should they look like five years from now)?

From a recent article and study on the ever increasing move towards a mobile work force and a remote workforce:

Companies are catching on, building offices designed for employees to work remotely, with better systems for communicating with telecommuters (i.e. giant TV screens), fewer desks, flexible seating arrangements, and less floor space overall.

It’s a trend that’s good for workers’ psyches and the environment–more people working from home means fewer car trips, and fewer people in the office allows companies to scale down to smaller spaces that use fewer resources. And if you don’t like it, well, too bad–a new survey from Citrix Systems found that the movement is speeding up.

Citrix surveyed 1,900 “senior IT decision-makers” in 19 countries, asking about future trends in workspaces and telecommuting. Among the highlights:

  • The IT executives surveyed believe that by 2020 there will be seven desks for every 10 office workers, reflecting the growing number of telecommuters.
  • That ratio will be even lower–six desks for every 10 workers–in telecommuting-friendly countries like the U.S., the U.K., Singapore, and the Netherlands. It will be higher in cultures that place a high value on face-time, like Germany, South Korea, and Japan. But even those countries are adjusting. After the Fukushima disaster, “organizations realized that they could empower their employees to work from home. They began to learn that work can be done anywhere,” says Kim DeCarlis, VP of corporate marketing at Citrix.
  • Approximately 29% of people in 2020 will work remotely–the majority from home, project sites, and customer/partner premises. Coffee shops, airports, and hotels will also be used while in transit, much as they are today.
  • 24% of companies have adopted mobile work styles (“The trend towards fewer office-based employees … who use multiple computing devices to access corporate apps, data, and services from a range of locations outside of the traditional office,” according to Citrix). That number will balloon to 83% by mid 2014.
  • 96% of organizations implementing mobile work styles are redesigning their workplaces to be more collaborative and flexible.
  • 83% of companies plan to allow employees to bring their own digital devices to and from work instead of relying on desktops, with most or all of the costs being covered by the companies themselves.

There are generational differences, to be sure; younger employees who were weaned on laptops and wireless access are comfortable working from anywhere. “The idea that they would have to come to an office to do their job is really very foreign to them,” says DeCarlis. But, she emphasizes, there are many people who want to work remotely, and age has nothing to do with it. Maybe they live an hour from the office, have small kids at home, or simply work better in distraction-free environments. Regardless of the reasoning, telecommuting is about to get a whole lot easier.


4 thoughts on “BYOD – will it impact iPads in schools?

  1. Good Morning,

    I enjoy reading about how the iPad has made such an impact on teaching and learning. At the Franklin Academy, we have been utilizing the device for over 2 years now and have sponsored a technology summit on training administrators and teachers on the use of the iPad. Please visit the link below to explore the topics and workshop themes.

    Education Technology Learning Summit
    Teaching & Learning with the iPad
    November 16th – 17th, 2012

    David Mahaley

  2. Building on the article above, here’s an article about 21 schools in a North Carolina school district testing a “BYOT” (bring your own technology) program.

    How one school district plans to test a BYOT program
    Twenty-one schools in a North Carolina school district will test a new bring-your-own-technology program, in which students are allowed to use their own devices in school. Start dates for the programs will vary by school, and officials are working to supply the necessary infrastructure. If the program is successful, officials say it could be expanded after Thanksgiving. The Charlotte Observer (N.C.)

  3. Here’s an article about BYOD

    Pros and Cons of BYOD and School Supplied Mobile Devices
    Educational technology experts discuss the pros and cons of BYOD vs. school-supplied mobile devices on college campuses.

    By Bridget McCrea11/14/12
    With educational budgets ever tighter, and with a large percentage of students already toting their own smart phones, tablets, and laptops, more institutions are considering the bring-your-own-device, or “BYOD,” approach to mobile classroom technology.

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