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Education Featured Article

October 25, 2012

Exploring the BYOD Trend in Education

By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor

Enterprises might have struggled a little with security and compliance of the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) issue in the beginning, but they are seeing the growing productivity rates associated with this trend. Professionals are taking their work everywhere. But it’s not just the business sector that is embracing BYOD – education is jumping on board.

According to a recent survey captured in this ED Week report, in 2011, nearly 55 percent of teachers said they brought a smartphone into the classroom. District administrators are proving not to be luddites. About 40 percent of them are looking at BYOD smartphone strategies for a more advanced classroom experience for students. However, less than 15 percent of those surveyed said their schools provide smartphones or tablet computers to their students.

While administrators are seeing value in the BYOD approach, it’s the teachers and librarians who are the quickest on the uptake of technology in the classroom. Nearly 70 percent of educators are regular users of smartphones and tablet computers. This puts them many steps ahead of the general public, of which 40 percent are regular users of the same technologies.

Digital learning is on the rise. Teachers are able to personalize the classroom experience for their students. Online learning is here to stay. More than 50 percent of educators say they use online learning in their classrooms. Professional development happens online too – about 40 percent of teachers and 50 percent of principals say they participate in online professional learning communities.

Roughly 20 percent of administrators use Twitter (News - Alert) to communicate with other educators, and they’re finding that they can reduce spending by using more technological methods of instruction. They’re not only interested in cost – these same administrators are finding that student engagement increases through the use of digital content.

In many cases, it’s the educators that are catching up to students. This generation of student was born into the digital age whereas many of the educators were brought up in school systems that used typewriters and word processors and were at least a decade removed from the age of the Internet. This gap has put them on the fast track to catch up with the students.

Social media and social networking tools are usually the first to be adopted. They’re also more and more accepting of the BYOT (bring your own technology) idea in the classroom. While many districts are still debating the good and bad of this concept, students who aren’t distracted by the various social networking and games on the devices are getting a more evolved learning experience in the classroom with their devices.

To further explore this concept, Kaseya (News - Alert) published a report, Device Management and Bring Your Own Device in Education Environments, that explores the potential of BYOD to help engage students while also offering IT effective ways to manage the trend.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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