What is BYOD?

The term BYOD, which stands for “Bring Your Own Device,” refers to the practice of students bringing their own laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices with them to class. Intel coined the term in 2009, when the company observed that an increasing number of its employees were using their own devices and connecting them to the corporate network. Since then, this type of activity has become commonplace in workplaces all over the globe. The BYOD movement in education institutions is being driven by a major challenge that many institutions face — a lack of funds to support one-to-one learning, which is a systemic solution in which every student is provided a laptop or mobile device that can be used to support learning in and outside of the classroom. BYOD makes one-to-one easier by simply leveraging the devices that students already have, or those their parents could buy for them. In practice, it has proven important to provide funds to support families in financial need, and to standardize on a small set of devices and software packages. Often the school will negotiate advantageous pricing for families to reduce their costs. In early studies, the act of a student using his or her own device for learning has proven to increase productivity and engagement. Tablet computing has accelerated the pace of BYOD, especially in schools, where these smaller, less-expensive devices are seen as a better option than traditional laptops. With their ever-growing capabilities, tablets (which now include an expanding set of choices, such as the iPad, Galaxy, Nexus, and Surface), are well positioned for BYOD environments.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • the huge variety of devices used by clients from different socioeconomic backgrounds, ages and skills will make providing 'genius bar' type support challenging in library environments - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph May 2, 2014 - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler May 7, 2014 - piguet piguet May 8, 2014- Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto May 10, 2014 - mkloes mkloes May 11, 2014Jefrina May 11 centralized support from IT department is critical to support the initiative. - mstephens7 mstephens7 May 11, 2014~
  • the functionality of apps varies and providing them to suit a range of devices will be costly, native apps and responsive websites may be preferred - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph May 2, 2014
  • The term Bring Your Own Device may be confusing: why would users have to travel to a location (such as a library) when they can access online service from wherever they are (including while travelling or even in bed!). This may be advantageous (reducing demand on busy libraries) or could be challenging for libraries if there is perceived to be less demand for physical library space. - ukwebfocus ukwebfocus May 8, 2014Jefrina May 11 the BYOD will assist with Libraries that do not have sufficient computer facilities for student and could help with Information Literacy class activities.
  • BYOD has implications for libraries as well as campuses. We need to make sure that any applications that we serve out on the web are mobile ready. We should also be designing for responsive design so that a student can be working on any device and has the same experience. BYOD also means that we need to be providing plenty of outlets for powering and charging these devices as well as perhaps checkout of the cables for charging. Additionally, reliable and comprehensive wireless coverage in your libraries will be critical. - dianeb dianeb May 9, 2014- Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto May 10, 2014 - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh May 11, 2014 Jefrina May 11 wifi coverage has to be comprehensive and as an alternative to power sockets, the Library can provide mobile charging station. Potential for docking requirements, keyboards etc - DaveP DaveP May 11, 2014
  • Libraries are often the entity on campus that licenses various software packages to make them available to students.- askeyd askeyd May 9, 2014
  • Devices could trigger activity e.g. with NFC, reminders, guides and documentation, instant downloads of content, serendipity and discovery - DaveP DaveP May 11, 2014
  • Library Facilities are a key factor for students in choosing university - 90% cited the library and IT facilities as the top university resources that they used most BYOD could enhance that experience http://www.aude.ac.uk/news/news_studentexperience - DaveP DaveP May 11, 2014

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • The policy implications are not explicitly mentioned (with the exception of policies on the centralised procurement of devices). Existing policies on appropriate use of IT systems will be difficult or inappropriate) to implement when users have their own devices. - ukwebfocus ukwebfocus May 8, 2014- Marwin.Britto Marwin.Britto May 10, 2014
  • Not so much missing, as a question of emphasis. I have read research recently (sorry, can't recall source) that indicates that students are settling on laptops and phones as their devices of choice for their studies, while tablet use is receding. As such, this means that VDI will become more critical, i.e.- the ability to let people use their own laptops but work in an OS environment running on server.- askeyd askeyd May 9, 2014

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • users have to be supported how to use different kind of devices in order to use library services (see remark 1 with "genius bar").This means broader knowledge and new skills for library staff. - rudolf.mumenthaler rudolf.mumenthaler May 7, 2014 - piguet piguet May 8, 2014Jefrina May 11 I can't emphasize enough the importance of a well-educated, constantly learning staff. - mstephens7 mstephens7 May 11, 2014 - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh May 11, 2014
  • Rather than the Rudolf's suggestion above that "users have to be supported how to use different kind of devices" I feel the challenge will be in deciding and implementing appropriate levels of support services. There will be a need to acknowledge the devices which cannot be supported (e.g. the unusual device a Chinese student owns which has a Chinese interface!) - ukwebfocus ukwebfocus May 8, 2014
  • Potentially a negative or positive financial impact. As noted above, libraries often license software that students need but cannot afford (e.g.- Adobe Creative Suite, MatLab, SPSS, et al.). In a BYOD environment, we may need to provision far more licenses than currently. Alternatively, a highly virtualized environment might permit us to reduce the number of licenses and to provision them dynamically. In our current state, we often put software on library-owned computers in a "just in case" mode, i.e.- if we have 300 computers, we put out 300 copies of MS Office. In a virtual environment, it is theoretically possible to reduce the number of licenses and not diminish service.- askeyd askeyd May 9, 2014
  • The BYOD environment is more towards the learning and teaching and accessibility to the library resources rather than as commented by the above bullet.Jefrina May 11

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

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