BYOD in Education: New Survey Reveals Widespread Use and Some Security Surprises

Posted by Joanne Godfrey on May 20th, 2013
Topics: BYOD, Education

Edu-Survey1The BYOD movement got its start in colleges and universities nearly a decade ago, spurred by technology-savvy students who demanded to use their personal devices on campus and by forward-thinking administrators who recognized that allowing network access using personal devices could improve the educational experience while aiding their recruiting efforts. Those administrators also realized that if they did nothing, students would find a way to get on the network anyway.

Where does the BYOD movement in EDU stand now? Bradford Networks decided to find out. The Impact of BYOD on Education report is based on the responses of more than 500 IT professionals from colleges, universities and K-12 school districts across the US and UK. It examines how BYOD is being used, challenges and concerns that are impacting wider adoption, and the potential going forward.

Some key findings include:

  • There is wide acceptance for at least some level of BYOD across all educational institutions. More than 85 percent of institutions surveyed allow some form of BYOD, and only 6 percent report no plans to implement it in the future.
  • The technologies that students are bringing to school are extremely diverse—from traditional laptops to various flavors of smart phones and tablets, and recreational devices like gaming consoles and internet TVs.
  • Devices aren’t just for personal use; they’re increasingly being integrated into the classroom and learning experience. This trend will see a lot of attention in coming years as educators take advantage of personal mobile devices as part of the 21st Century Classroom and other teaching initiatives.
  • Security continues to be a top concern for many organizations. The survey also found evidence of questionable security practices that have been implemented, creating network vulnerabilities for many respondents.
  • Uncertainty about how to manage network visibility and control is preventing some institutions from utilizing BYOD at its full potential.

EDU continues to set the pace in BYOD, driving innovations to support the exotic devices students bring in, and integrations with advanced security solutions that correlate with network and device information to provide greater levels of protection. The evolution of BYOD in education has also led the way for other industries including business enterprises and healthcare. Technologies, access policies and best practices that originated in EDU now provide a roadmap for other organizations developing their own BYOD strategy. Thus the survey will be both an eye-opener and a valuable planning tool as BYOD becomes the “new normal” in EDU and many other sectors.