Bring Your Own Device
Tim T Dingle BSc (Hons) MIBiol PGCE MBA Chief Development Officer at the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training.
AVPT Global is issuing a technological tsunami alert; feel the force of a very real wave of BYOD / BYOT and new mobile learning and learn how to avoid being swamped.
Here at AVPT Global we like to bring you some advanced news and perhaps a serious warning of impending change. I have worked in the education sector for 25 years and seen many changes in technology during that time. There is a clear and present need to improve the soft skills and learning of individuals- whether at School, University or in business. Already at AVPT we are using the latest technology to improve training and it is clear that mobile learning is massive. I came across the term bring your own device (BYOD) in a recent workshop for employers. It means the policy of permitting employees to bring personally owned mobile devices (laptops, tablets, and smart phones) to their workplace and use those devices to access company information and applications. The term bring your own technology (BYOT) is being used more frequently in an educational context. It is a part of a supplementary school technology resourcing model, where the home and the school collaborate in arranging for use their own digital technology to be extended into the classroom to assist their teaching and learning and the organisation of their schooling.
The BYOD / BYOT ‘tsunami’ is rapidly coming over the horizon for educational institutions and businesses. BYOD is making significant inroads in the business world already with about 75% of employees in high growth markets such as Brazil and Russia and 44% in developed markets already using their own technology at work. In most cases, businesses simply can’t block the trend.
We believe that BYOD may help employees be more productive and become genuine Life Long Learners. It can and should increase employee morale and convenience by using their own devices and makes the company look like a flexible and attractive employer. Many feel that BYOD can even be a means to attract new staff (and we all know how hard it is to get the right person on board): 44% of job seekers now view an organisation more positively if it supports their device.
We have found at AVPT that if businesses are to survive they will need to be proactive and really note and respond to the trends. They will need to shape the largely inevitable development to the best advantage or try to surpass the deeds of King Canute and prevent the wave from swamping their institutions. Perhaps not surprisingly at this very early stage many of the early BYOT moves are making this mistake, are naïve, simplistic and preoccupied with the relatively mundane, showing little appreciation of what BYOT could entail.
We believe at AVPT global that there are least six global megatrends coming together that will impact on all businesses, schools, institutions to some form of BYOT. These megatrends relate to the normalised use of personal digital devices in every facet of life, the burgeoning digital and educative capacity of the student’s homes, cloud computing, parent digital empowerment, government’s increasing inability to fund state of the art personal technology for all and the inexorable evolution of schooling from its insular paper-based mode to one that is more digital and networked.
Fundamental to BYOT is that personal choice of the technology by the individual (whether in School, Higher Education and Business). While businesses /schools might and probably should provide advice, the final choice should rest with the individual. The will give an enhanced facility for the personalisation of learning in and outside the business and educational premises. That is the secret of the success of online mobile learners. In our online Learning Management System that can be used by the owner of device, at home, work or on the move (found out VTF are driving this change).The individuals are having their ownership of the technology and the information respected and absorbed.
So the future that BYOD / BYOT is creating will cause a profound educational change. It has immense potential that will assist change in the nature of schooling, teaching, learning and the relationship with homes and work. However, to realise this potential there has to be really strong leadership in education and businesses management. It has to change thinking and begin to understand what is needed terms of the power of mobile learning. Leaders have to take charge of the process, understand the possibilities and appreciate what is required for sustained success and development. At AVPT we see leaders training who are training to be proactive, learning about the forces impelling institutions to some form of BYOT. We see the need to appreciate the real potential for society in educational, social, economic, technical, administrative and political terms.
At the Academy of Vocational and Professional Training we believe these are still very early days with BYOT / BYOD. There isn’t much out there being written about these changes to mobile learning except in some pioneers in the field. The focus of most business and institutions is technical with little thought given the wider educational or financial implications. The greatest challenge with BYOT / BYOD will be human. The technical aspect is easy- and always will be. The key is to understand the historic significance of this development and to recognise that we are moving to a new model of mobile learning, teaching and institutional resourcing where everyone collaborates, facilitates and genuine accepts these changes.