Bring Your Own Device vs 1-to-1 Programs

The Device

BYOD: The children and parents are given an open choice of which device to bring, although some schools have chosen to limit these to Macs, iSomethings or PCs. This means the teachers can have a range of devices and applications that they can use. However, this also means that not every child’s device is guaranteed to have the capabilities to meet the requirements of every task. For example, if a lesson is planned around an app or website and it is not compatible with every device, children will need to share what they see to be their personal proprety. Furthermore, not all devices are guaranteed to be able to connect to school networks.

1-to-1: Children are given a specific device to use, as a result (ideally) all students have devices with the same capabilities and can access the same programs. This also means that when charging issues occur chargers are interchangeable. This also means that device sharing could occur more frequently, as all students would be familiar with the device.

The Security

BYOD: Due to the range of devices, user agreements would be require different content or more detail. A particular emphasis would have to be placed on internet use, some devices have 3G and/or 4G capabilities, allowing for students to bypass school networks, therefore school security. Some applications also inadvertently bypass school security (we found this with the YouTube app), or require certificates to work around school security. The different devices can also provide opportunities for a variety of viruses to work their way into school systems.

1-to-1: Managing security for identical devices is much easier, and a general user agreement would be effective. This allows for any issues to be dealt with either by students, teachers or IT support, and the experience gained from this could be applied to all devices.

The Cost

BYOD: For this, a document providing details of who is responsible for damage to the device is required. The policy may extend to any damage to school devices as a result of use, such as the damaged caused by spread of viruses. This may also mean the students must abide by user agreements when using their devices at home, for example ensuring there is no inappropriate material on their device. This could be an area of contention, as the students own the device but must abide by school rules when using it at home.

1-to-1: This has the potential to place a financial burden on parents, whose children may already have a collection of devices at home. The future use of these devices must be taken into account, in some cases the majority of students in particualr primary schools are destined for particular high schools, who already have their own BYOD or 1-to-1 program. This approach requires the same forethought as BYOD in many areas, such as cost, availability, IT support, warranties, charging policies, insurance, care products such as covers and bags, and possibly also payment plans.

BYOD and 1-to-1 are both valid options for schools, with BYOD in the relatively early stages as compared to 1-to-1.

Bring Your Own Device vs 1-to-1 Programs
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