Why B.Y.O.D. won’t work.

Call me a cynic, but while I support the idea of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) programs, I am pretty sure they won’t work.  Not because they are a bad idea for schools to use technology that already exists, but because the program will not be implemented properly.

Clausen, Britten, and Ring (2008) noted how relatively easy it is to add new educational technologies to schools, but how much more difficult it is to get teachers to effectively integrate hardware into teaching practices.  Gene Hall (2010), one of the researchers that founded the Concerns-Based Adoption Model, stated simply adding technology to a classroom will have little effect.

What both articles refer to is a need for clear implementation and professional development.  I fear the BYOD movement will be poorly supported by school districts, which have little financial investment in the hardware anyway.  The schools will not care whether someone else’s technology makes a big impact, thus few resources will be provided to properly train teachers to use the new, diverse devices.

Added to this, if BYOD is implemented poorly, now students be allowed to bring their devices to school.  Without proper use, the devices will become an approved distraction.

I cannot think of a program worse for education except the one that is good in concept and poorly executed.  A poor implementation plan will lead to certain failure.


Clausen, J. M., Britten, J., & Ring, G. (2008). Envisioning effective laptop initiatives. Learning & Leading with Technology, 36(1), 18-22. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

Hall, G. E. (2010). Technology’s Achilles heel: Achieving high-quality implementation. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 42(3), 231-263. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.


7 thoughts on “Why B.Y.O.D. won’t work.

  1. Andy June 26, 2012 / 6:12 pm

    I completely agree with what you’re saying here, but in addition to the problems presented, it’s just a logistical nightmare. Since more likely than not, everyone will have different devices, the software will unlikely be incompatible for some students, putting them behind from the get-go. In addition to this, some families wouldn’t be able to afford the tech, and without proper funding, these kids will not only be embarrassed in school, but they won’t learn as much as their classmates.

    • Justin Staub, Ed.D. June 26, 2012 / 6:33 pm

      Thanks Andrew. Another perceptive view from a student whose opinion needs to be heard.

      • Andrew. June 26, 2012 / 7:53 pm

        But it’s not like students have a voice in any major educational decisions. It’s a shame that those who are in the system have no say in it. And educators wonder why kids detest school. Yeah, there’s the group that just doesn’t wanna be there, but I truly feel bad for the group of kids, however few it may be, that want a better experience in their school, but have no way of getting that.

  2. Sarah Gantert :) June 27, 2012 / 3:41 am

    I’m usually pretty wordy when it comes to my responses on tech stuff…but I’m going to keep it brief 🙂

    B.Y.O.D. is only negative if you look at it through the lense of 20th century tech use and even tech use in past decade. If you consider cloud computing, free productivity apps,etc….every kid will be on the same page in terms of access to programs (whether they bring their own device or use a school supplied device). Schools do need a proper plan in place (as you’ve mentioned) but I see nothing but a vast majority of positive impacts coming out of BYOD programs.

    The thing that will keep this type of program from working well is the constant need to purchase software from companies like Microsoft and Apple. The old idea of “getting what you pay for” needs to go by the wayside when we discuss educational technology-there are too many free and useful things for our students to use online for that to even be considered relevant anymore.

    PS-your blog is an interesting read:)

    • Justin Staub, Ed.D. June 27, 2012 / 2:48 pm

      Sarah, thanks for finding my blog. How? I didn’t provide the link to too many people, mostly because my work is very unrefined.

      You make some very interesting points about moving away from technology being about the device or hardware to access the internet. Thanks for the flood of new thoughts.

      I guess now the next question is, if BYOD will be successful, then educators need to pursue apps that are cross-platform (like Google apps) so all students can use them. I would also add, these apps must be free or nearly free ($5 or less). I bet a list of such exists.

      Maybe I’ll try to combine these ideas into a serviceable list for my next blog post. Thanks again.

      • Sarah Gantert June 27, 2012 / 9:41 pm

        Hi Justin,

        I saw it on Linkedin :). I’m pretty low-key on there so it’s hard to remember for many people that I am even on LI, haha. Also, I don’t think your work is unrefined–you have a lot of interesting thoughts…I enjoy reading your blog :).

        I completely agree about the pricing. You know me, I’m always about free and cost effective measures when it comes to implementing technology in schools (one of the reasons that I was so against Microsoft Skydrive was because of 1. cost and 2. too much bureaucracy involved). If something cost money to students (ultimately their parents) I tend to be skeptical of it. I’ve found that Google provides TONS of free software and if we can’t find it on Google–why not have the kids create apps to fit our needs (I think that’s always been the STEM vision anyway)? The nice thing about the Google Chrome store is that it is specific to the browser–not an operating system (like android and iOS). Therefore, the only requirement would be to have kids utilize Google Chrome (the superior browser anyway…haha) and let them know what apps to download and use. Obviously, as you’ve stated in your new post–professional development needs to be implemented in some way to help teachers navigate through the abundance of apps that are out there. I actually think, even with the little prof. dev. we get (again, as you have mentioned in your most recent post)–apps are so easy to understand that they could be an incredibly powerful tool without much prof. development.

Share your thoughts. I'd love to hear what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s