May 31 2012

Why Colleges Need to Buy Into BYOD

Universities face the challenge of meeting student demand and keeping networks secure.

The “bring your own device” (BYOD) trend is heating up, and for good reason. Sixty-seven percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 24 own a smartphone. As the use of smartphones and tablet PCs becomes second nature for today’s college students, many are asking, “Why shouldn’t I use my devices for school?”

The answer comes from IT departments, who are justifiably concerned with security, bandwidth and crowded networks, not to mention the challenge of supporting multiple devices, browsers and apps. Given widespread staffing and budget constraints, why should schools invest time, money and resources in a BYOD program? Because they don’t have a choice — but it doesn’t have to be a headache. Hear what EDUCAUSE has to say on the topic:

Use of personally owned devices continues to grow on campuses. If we don’t support these devices, community members will find their own way to support them, which could put our networks and information at risk. A “bring your own device” program is about supporting your community in the ways they want to work, teach, and learn by allowing them to use the most appropriate tool for the job, while on the IT side, we keep acquisition and support costs, information privacy, and security — including network security — in check.

EDUCAUSE is holding a BYOD webinar on June 5, 2012. Click for more information.

In the recent EdTech “Best of BYOD” webinar, the presenters emphasized that successful BYOD programs are driven by pedagogy, not devices. IT departments should work with professors and administrators to form a plan that will serve the needs of both students and teachers. 

Click here to watch the archived EdTech webinar, “The Best of BYOD: How to Prepare Your Network and Your Stakeholders.” 

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