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Should BYODs Be Allowed in Class?

Education January 19, 2016

People toting BYODs—Bring Your Own Devices—with them is a fact of modern life, and K-12 schools are no exception to this rule.According to GrowingWireless.com, 56% of U.S. children aged 8 to 12 have smartphones, as do 21% of children 8 and younger. The site reports that 28% of middle school and 51% of high school students bring their smartphones to school daily. And the number is growing.

Now consider the use of wireless tablets among K-12 students, and school principals/IT managers have no choice but to cope with having so many BYODs on campus. When kids bring Apples to school these days, they’re usually not carrying fruit for the teacher.

On the plus side, supporting student-used BYODs can be good news for cash-strapped schools because, according to SecurEdge Networks, it saves schools money. BYOD-equipped students already know how to use their devices, are more open to learning via school-supplied educational apps, and are less likely to forget their own devices than textbooks, they add.

On the negative side, students with BYODs can surf social media rather than do classwork; overload the school’s network, and inject malware into school/board servers by visiting infected websites.

Another concern for schools, according to Rachel Quetti, editor of the school tech website K-12 TechDecisions, is security of the school’s network, as well protecting students from unsafe sites. Schools, she adds, should train teachers to take advantage of BYOD so they can maximize the learning experience for students.

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