BYOD in Education: What is Bring Your Own Device?

Except from our BYOD in Education eBook written by Ollie Bray.

BYOD or Bring Your Own Device is the simple idea that young people and school staff are allowed to bring their own Internet enabled device into school and use it to help them work, learn and (if appropriate) socialise.

The impact of this very simple concept is three fold:

  • Firstly, it increases the amount of devices in schools that can be used to enhance learning
  • Secondly, it avoids unnecessary spending on hardware resources, and this finance can then be re-directed to other areas of ICT development within the school
  • Thirdly, it avoids the ‘doubling’ or sometimes ‘tripling’ up on devices, where a computer is redundant for much of the day because it is either at school, at home or hidden in your pocket

However, for what may seem like such a simple idea there are a lot of barriers (organisational, pedagogical, technical and cultural) that will need to be overcome to ensure the success of BYOD in schools.

The big picture (educational transformation)

When we look at how technology has transformed education, it is useful to look at it in a number of stages. Anthony Salcito, the VP of Education Worldwide at Microsoft, describes this from a traditional (industrialised) approach, through the automated and access age, to an age of holistic transformation.


In many countries across the world, we will move to ubiquitous 1:1 (one computer per child) learning environments within the next 5 - 10 years. Some countries such as Macedonia, Portugal, Turkey and Venezuela are already amongst the early adopters, and other schools systems will follow in a domino type affect.

In a climate where we are very much expected to do ‘more’ with ‘less’, it is likely that many large scale device deployments will be based around the BYOD model. Preparing for the next educational technology paradigm shift must be seen as one of the highest priorities of any school, state or education system.

However, as we know from failed technology initiatives of the past, the technology itself will not
be enough to drive the holistic transformation that is needed within many school systems. Infrastructure, good pedagogical practice, school leadership and teacher professional learning are all key ingredients for success.

For the schools and systems that get this right, BYOD and 1:1 computing has the potential to unlock the wonders of an education future that we are only just starting to imagine, such as data driven personalisation, learning analytics, seamless collaboration, rich meta-tagged content, and technology enhanced reflective practice.

We hope that within this eBook we can start you on your journey of working towards this future. The full eBook can be viewed/downloaded below.

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