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BYOD Only for Mobile (Tablets)?
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Over the last 12 months, I have led my institution to consider and create processes and policy around the adoption and college-purchase of tablet technology (iPads primarily) as well as firming up policies and approaches for BYOD. There is still work to be done, but I feel we have a good foundation in moving forward.
The question was recently posed by our interim president if the college should continue to purchase tablet devices for faculty and staff. Our current practice has a justification form and requires the approval of the Vice President in the individual’s line of reporting, so we feel we have adequate measures for avoiding frivolous requests. However, the comparison was made to cell phones/smart phones where at one time college’s often provided these tools, but many have since moved away from providing smart phones as individuals have their own. He contemplates that tablets are likely on the same approach and asks if it makes sense for the college to move away from purchasing tablets now in anticipation of this trend. (Budget concerns are a consideration. Our last round of approved purchases was largely faculty and a few student-facing professionals. Admin-only types were not approved generally.)
So, I’ve been reviewing the literature and creating a recommendation. We currently have a blended approach that allows the college to purchase a tablet (with justification and approval) as well as a fairly liberal personal device support policy and continuing improvements to infrastructure for supporting BYOD. Most of the conversations on this listserv have focused on the challenges of security and infrastructure in a BYOD world, and I am well aware of these issues. I’m asking for the group’s thoughts on whether or not a college should still provide college-owned tablets, or should they strictly be a BYOD item? Are they ubiquitous enough yet? Will we hinder adoption and general improvement of the use of technology in the classroom if they HAVE to BYOD? Where do your institutions stand on this question?
I appreciate your thoughts on this level and any references you may have to relevant research is welcome. I’ve reviewed most (if not all) of the ECAR and EDUCAUSE literature on the topic which seems to be focused on the issues around developing a BYOD policy, and I’m asking a bit broader of a question. Should tablets, in particular, ONLY be allowed as BYOD? What are the risks and rewards of that approach?
Thanks in advance,
Janice L. Ward
Chief Information Officer
North Iowa Area Community College
500 College Drive
Mason City, IA 50401
Voice: 641.422.4436 Mobile: 641.525.0888
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