Advantages and disadvantages of BYOD in Australian schools

Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) schemes, which allow students to use smartphones, laptops and tablets on campus, may be a regular fixture in Australian schools but remain a contentious subject in the education sector.

Many schools have implemented this practice but opinions are split on whether BYOD policies have a positive or negative impact on students and their ability to learn. We’ve compiled three pros and three cons of BYOD. 

Advantages

Engages students

Allowing students to use these types of devices provides a unique interactive experience and exposes them to concepts like gamification, and may encourage greater engagement, which is more likely to lead to accelerated development than a student who is not interested. 

Cost-effective (for schools)

As students will be providing the devices, schools will not have to endure the substantial cost of purchasing devices for an entire cohort and can commit these savings to improving another area of the school. 

Hones technical skills

By familiarising themselves with laptops, tablets and even smartphones, students are preparing for the modern workforce where digital literacy and tech savviness are expected in virtually all jobs.

Disadvantages

Bullying platform

Inappropriate conduct with smartphones, such as cyber bullying via social media and sexting, is a murky body of water to navigate, especially considering it is the school itself encouraging students to bring these devices on campus. 

Inequity

While BYOD benefits schools from a financial perspective, it does the opposite for families, and there can be an uncomfortable divide between students if some have devices and others do not due to their parents being unable to afford the technology. 

Security

You only have to look at the recent trial concerning Facebook and Cambridge Analytica to appreciate how sensitive people are about their data. If a school’s network wasn’t properly secured and the personal information of students was compromised, this would be a severe situation.

Useful Links:

What to do if your child hates school

What to do when your child’s homework is too hard

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