BYOD/BYOT: are schools ready?


The ownership of mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets has grown rapidly. 93% of adults in the UK owned or used a mobile phone in 2014; 66% owned a smartphone. Among children and young people the trend has been to move away from phone to tablet use, although this does depend on the age range in question. Figures from 2013 suggest that in the 12-15 age range smartphones remain more widely used than tablets. 62% own a smartphone with 26% owning a tablet. ‘The use of tablets has tripled among 5-15s since 2012 (42%, up from 14%), and one quarter (28%) of infants aged 3-4 now use a tablet computer at home.’  The move towards using personally owned devices in the workplace and in education has subsequently grown.

Given the rapid rise of the technology, relatively few research studies exist in relation to the impact of a BYOD/BYOT approach to learning and teaching. Those that do exist consist mainly of case studies, focused on one particular context.

There are examples of advice to approaching BYOD/BYOT:

ICT for Learning in Falkirk Primary Schools

Manitoba Education

Bring Your Own Device Guide:


Bring Your Own Device in your school – a 10 point guide

Stephen Heppell has suggested that we need to move away from talking about BYOD/BYOT to ‘use your own device’. What is the point of bringing your own device to school if its use has not been planned for and built into classroom learning and teaching? Are schools adopting BYOD/BYOT because of outside pressures? We need to stand back and consider the why’s and the how’s before we simply create another ‘solution’ that has little real impact on learning outcomes.

BYOD/BYOT: are we ready?

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2 thoughts

  1. One concern with BOYD is equity. Despite the growth in device ownership it will never reach 100%. Another aspect of equity is teacher support. I think it’s unreasonable to expect a teacher to know how every device works creating issues when supporting learners. These issues and others were highlight in a talk by Simon Thomson who led a 1-to-1 tablet initiative at Leeds Beckett University. By proving a device the teacher only need to become familiar with one product and could be sure when asking students to perform certain tasks the device they had was capable. Simon’s talk is available from here and slides

    Jisc have some great resources on engaging students with mobile learning at


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