I have given this topic much thought and research. After which I have found that there are some important reasons why schools should consider a BYOD program over a 1:1 where the school purchases the technology for the students.
- 1:1 programs are difficult to sustain because you must purchase or lease new technology every 3 to 4 years.
- BYOD allows families to purchase what they can afford and what works for their families rather than being told by a school what to purchase, even if it does not work for their families. Yet, while the school must have the infrastructure in place (access to strong Wifi..etc), they do not need to replenish new devices every couple of years.
- 1:1 programs do not always allow students to bring home their technology tools, thus not having 24/7 access to their learning tool. This also limits what teachers can assign for homework or extended class assignments.
- BYOD guarantees that students will have 24/7 access to their learning tools.
- 1:1 programs only focus on how to use one particular technology, thus students are exposed to less technology platforms (and often apps/resources).
- In BYOD students in the schools are exposed to a variety of devices and platforms. For example students can watch teachers model how to do the same activity on an iPad, a Chromebook and an Andriod phone.
- While 1:1 programs may be a bit easier for the technology coordinator (if schools are lucky enough to have one!) to troubleshoot problems, they also are dependent on the technology department or coordinators to do all the troubleshooting.
- BYOD programs are more dependent on families and students doing their own troubleshooting, thus allowing them to take ownership and responsibility over their learning devices.
Long Term Access
- 1:1 programs often take back the technology lent to students after a certain grade or graduation from a level of schooling. And there is no guarantee they will have a digital tool from the school at their next level.
- In a BYOD program, once students leave their elementary or middle school, they will continue to have access to their learning tool.
- In 1:1 programs the technology is selected by the schools, thus the students do not always feel as connected and interested in the selected too (some do, some would have preferred a different tool).
- In BYOD programs students are inherently engaged and curious with their own devices. They often had a say in what they wanted to purchase, and use it everyday for entertainment, thus they
- The best research says that the more access to the tool, the better. BYOD guarantees 24/7 access while 1:1 programs cannot always guarantee this.
The Real World
- More and more businesses are adopting the BYOD model and moving away from the 1:1 model in their companies. Thus, as schools often want to connect to the authentic world, what could be more real than exposing students to the same technology structure they will experience in the work force?