Going BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mark O'Neill 11-08-2012

Going BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) [INFOGRAPHIC] byod introIt seems to be the new trend in schools and companies all across the world – BYOD. No, it’s not a new type of online computer game but rather Bring Your Own Device. This is a scheme where money-conscious schools and companies allow students and employees to bring their own computers and devices instead of having to work with a device issued by the company. You get to work with your “lean mean computing machine” and the school / company saves big buckeroos. But as with everything else in life, there are clear pros and cons to the scheme, making it a bit debatable as to whether or not the scheme is actually any good.


The advantages to coming to class or to the office with your own laptop or tablet (for example) are obvious.  It’s yours, you’ve customized the hell out of it, and you have the entire discography of Guns n’ Roses burned to MP3 on the hard drive. Plus you’re more likely to have Windows 7 while the poor secretary in the corner is struggling with Windows 98. But then there’s the cons – theft, damage, incompatibility with colleagues devices, hooking up to the inept company network and getting a virus, and worst of all, your colleagues seeing your Kylie Minogue desktop wallpaper.

Our infographic today is on the subject of BYOD. Do you bring your own device to school or work? If so, what are the pros and cons for you?

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Related topics: Education Technology, Infographic.

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  1. Elijah Swartz
    August 12, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Colleges cost so much money, they should either offer you a free reasonably spec'ed laptop, or give you a check for a certain amount of money for having or buying a laptop at equal or higher specs. Everyone should have the ability to have a certain standard of performance. If the college gets certain devices in bulk, they would likely get a discount. Instead of having so many desktop computers everywhere, just give people a laptop and make that part of their technology fee. Heck, even giving everyone a Squaretrade Accident Protection warranty plan wouldn't even cost that much and would get rid of the issue of what if the laptop breaks.

  2. Kevin Klingmeyer
    August 12, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    My college (graduated '10) kinda did both: professors were assigned laptops (which weren't top of the line unless they could prove a need for it), and students were BYOD. The problem was the security management they did—cheap and annoying.

    The school made everybody have a sort of nanny-ware on all devices. It blocked illegal sites/activities and made sure you had proper protection for the internet (and blocked you if you didn't). But it was buggy. For some macs (intel and up), it didn't block anything. For Linux and other older macs (pre-intel) you couldn't connect. I had Windows Vista at the time, and every day my computer would crash/forbid internet use until restart/some other problem at least once. It blocked access for me because it didn't consider BitDefender protection software.

    The school was set up for enough wireless and wired connections so that the entire school could BYOD; but the complications (which gradually got fixed) were really annoying. It made sense in theory…but that was about it (I'd be sitting without internet while a friend torrented seasons of Arrested Development).

    Not the best when the research databases for schoolwork are on-line.

    • Yang Yang Li
      August 12, 2012 at 5:58 pm

      Why not just bring two devices? One for school work and the other for entertainment.
      The device for entertainment can be hooked up with mobile broadband or used in an icafe. This solution avoids most of the problems mentioned in the comments above.
      It is true that some people cannot afford two computers though. Cheap tablet anyone?

      • Kevin Klingmeyer
        August 12, 2012 at 6:50 pm

        Well, I didn't for a few reasons: (1)they were still kind of new and (2)I had little money to invest in them at the time.

        Now with smart phones, tablets, and mobile hotspots all having their own data—I don't think many of the problems I had would be insurmountable.

        But that puts further expense on the student to compensate for faulty school software.

    • Elijah Swartz
      August 12, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      The "Great Fireweall of China" doesn't stop Chinese citizens from visiting blocked websites like Youtube. I wonder what would make a school think their stuff would stop students from access blocked content. If you are at a college, I would think it would be excepted for you to make good decisions. Considering how schools know they are a business which should provide internet access to many students, you think they would just spend enough money on enough to compensate everyone. My previous college's internet speeds were pretty terrible. I don't think I "enjoyed" speeds so slow since about 2000. Youtube videos couldn't even be played on demand. I personally think colleges should pick up their game. The cost of tuition should cover enough to give good access to everyone. Two of the reasons I moved into an apartment instead of living in the dorms was to save money and have faster internet speeds.

      • Kevin Klingmeyer
        August 12, 2012 at 6:47 pm

        Actually, the school had incredibly fast speeds for the most part. I almost wonder if they did it as a way to not have to worry about intellectual property lawsuits. When connected, it was pretty awesome. The problem was getting and staying connected.

  3. MerVzter Balacuit
    August 12, 2012 at 5:29 pm

    but sad to say some part of the world even 1 device the student can't bring their device ... because they dont have

  4. Krishnapriya
    August 12, 2012 at 4:20 am

    My school's computers still run Windows XP but my own runs Windows 7 and Ubuntu 12.04 in dual boot. Which is better I need not say.

  5. Kris
    August 11, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    One aspect which was not mentioned is your privacy. While this isn't as much an issue in high school or colleges but is a completely different story at most if not all companies especially when you have direct access to company IP or other sensitive data. While at work I have zero expectation of privacy and need to consider the emails sent (work & personal), web pages surfed and software downloaded while on the company network that may or may not be approved for use on company computers. Then enter BYOD to work and the complete discography of G&R you pirated, your internet history (let's not go there) and your other personal files you retain on your machine are potentially opened up for the company IT dept to sift through your machine. While I would much rather use my MBP or Thinkpad T60p both of which are more powerful than the desktop machine at work. Something to consider before connecting your machine to the company network.

    • Truefire_
      August 11, 2012 at 7:09 pm

      When I did this, I dual-booted two copies of Windows (one I got for free with a student discount) so that one was for work+VPN, and the other was for personal stuff.

      • Mark O'Neill
        August 13, 2012 at 9:12 am

        That's a really good idea that you do all your work stuff inside a VPN. But yes, you shouldn't expect any privacy on your machine at work.

        So any embarrassing webpages should be looked at with incognito features, and files should be kept inside a Truecrypt volume.

  6. Collin Hoffman
    August 11, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I brought my own laptop to high school every day, and it was unbelievably useful and far superior to anything the school had to offer. The college that I'm going to, however, issues a laptop to every student. These machines are high-end computers designed loaded with general-use software (MS Office, etc.) as well as programs specific to students' fields of study (AutoCAD, etc). Students can turn in their computer after two years for a brand new one, and get to keep their computer after graduation. These computers are very expensive (~$2500) but are included in tuition.

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Wow, tell us the name of the college so we can all apply there!!

  7. The 24
    August 11, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Companies are often audited to make sure they are using legitimate software, genuine copies of Windows for example. I wonder how BYOD impacts that. Are employees or the employers responsible for maintaining standards, can employees refuse to have their devices inspected and if punishments are needed, who is liable?

    • Truefire_
      August 11, 2012 at 7:08 pm

      Most companies have their users sign a contract that says,"I will not use illegal or illegitimate software on "company-name"'s network.'

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 13, 2012 at 9:08 am

      Yes. as Truefire says, the employee will probably have to sign a contract, which passes all legal liability to them, if anything from their computer messes the network up. The contract will also forbid illegal software.

  8. Greg
    August 11, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I understand "the students get distracted with their own devices" part because I'm like that for sure. On the other hand my laptop is much more powerful than my schools laptop :D

    • Mark O'Neill
      August 13, 2012 at 9:06 am

      what kind of laptop do you have and what kind does the school have?

      • Greg
        August 13, 2012 at 3:46 pm

        Mine is a Dell Latitude E6400, and I know my school gives us an older Latitude