Mobile technology has become an extremely powerful tool in K-12 classrooms. When students have the ability to participate in mobile learning opportunities, their educational experience expands far beyond the classroom. Implementing a program in which students have access to mobile technology will give them greater access to learning, however it can be costly. K-12 school budgets are tight, and implementing a 1:1 program may not be possible for many schools. That’s when BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can be a great solution for schools looking to provide their students with mobile learning opportunities.
There are many benefits to BYOD. Schools districts can save a significant amount of money when they do not have to provide students with mobile devices. Furthermore, students are familiar with their own devices and avoid the challenge of having to learn how to use a device they may not be familiar with.
While there are many advantages to implementing BYOD in the classroom, it can present many challenges to K-12 school districts.
“There are three burdens on a K-12 classroom- lack of resources, lots of obligation to protect its constituent, and lots of oversight for measurement of the efficacy of the investment,” says Sean Brown, vice president of Sonic Foundry, a provider of video capture, management and webcasting solutions.
BYOD needs to be monitored effectively to ensure students are learning what is expected of them, and this can be difficult with limited resources. Fortunately, there are many technologies available on the K-12 market that can help BYOD succeed in any school district.
When students bring in their own devices, school districts need to have a program in place that will allow them to effectively manage many different devices.
“K-12 school districts have limited resources. You can probably manage 100 laptops on your own. But once those 100 devices are in 12 different schools in your district, how do you do that? What we aim to do is help these schools understand how they can manage devices effectively, not just from an IT infrastructure but also how to approach BYOD,” says Preston Winn, director of education solutions at AirWatch, a provider of enterprise mobility management software and standalone management systems.
It is helpful for IT managers to be able to access every device from a single console, rather than having to use different software for each type of device.