What is Bring Your Own Device?


BYOD, also referred to as BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology), refers to the practice of people bringing their own laptops, tablets, smartphones, or other mobile devices with them to the learning or work environment. Intel coined the term in 2009, when the company observed that an increasing number of its employees were using their own devices and connecting them to the corporate network. Since implementing BYOD policies, the company has reported up to 5 million hours of annual productivity gains, a statistic that is compelling many other companies to consider BYOD. In schools, the BYOD movement addresses the same reality; many students are entering the classroom with their own devices, which they use to connect to the school’s network. While BYOD policies have been shown to reduce overall technology spending, they are gaining traction more so because they reflect the contemporary lifestyle and way of working. A 2013 Cisco Partner Network Study found that BYOD practices are becoming more common across industries, particularly in education; over 95% of educators surveyed responded that they use their own device for work purposes. Although administrators and educators have cited IT security concerns, technology gap issues, and platform neutrality as challenges to the uptake of this technology, a growing number of models in practice are paving the way for BYOD to enter the mainstream.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • all of the libraries services on the web has to be build with responsive design and platform independent as much as possible - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Mar 31, 2015 - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 4, 2015 - melissa.bowles-terry melissa.bowles-terry Apr 14, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015
  • Michael Lascarides (National Library of New Zealand) reports there are more than 1200 different screen resolutions accessing their website each month http://lascarides.github.io/screenres.html - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • Libraries need to continue to study what types of materials their user community (students, faculty) want to read on mobile devices and which types of materials they still prefer to read in print. I think this will be a moving target - some things like e-textbooks that are generally not popular today may be the mode of choice in a few years as functionality improves (and if more open, free or very low cost options) are available to students. - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 4, 2015 - melissa.bowles-terry melissa.bowles-terry Apr 14, 2015
  • Perhaps academic libraries will also have to provide some technology for loan to address the ongoing digital divide issue for students who don't have funds to have the best or newest technology? - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015
  • Understanding what types of services can be delivered to people on the go will be important to understand better, including people in the field or away from campus, e.g. in clinical settings in health sciences or in remote locations for biologists, archaeologists, etc.
  • BYOD, at very least, is changing the way we approach the learning opportunities we design, provide, and facilitate. Rather than being expected to always provide access to learning opportunities and resources through library-purchased equipment (e.g., desktop computers, laptop computers, and tablets), library staff now works with user-provided equipment and onsite wireless connections in some learning settings; this, in turn, makes us re-examine how we design and use our learning spaces as we realize the spaces can be quickly reconfigured to accommodate the tech tools users bring to those spaces.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Apr 7, 2015 Yes yes yes! Flexible spaces! - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 11, 2015 - melissa.bowles-terry melissa.bowles-terry Apr 14, 2015 - janice.welburn janice.welburn Apr 20, 2015
  • I agree with Paul, the implications for space design are significant. For example as tablet or laptop adapter cables continue to multiply, it's time to design around wireless sharing of content to displays in collaboration spaces. Cut the cord. - dicksonk dicksonk Apr 9, 2015 - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015 - melissa.bowles-terry melissa.bowles-terry Apr 14, 2015
  • not only must we design our services to be responsive and platform independent but those requirements are dramatically affecting vendors that we select for 3rd party services. If a vendor doesn't offer a mobile ready interface, there is a good chance they will not be selected. Some vendors need to catch up, especially those in the ILS business. - dianeb dianeb Apr 10, 2015 - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Apr 19, 2015
  • That's a great point about vendor selection related to mobile access. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015
  • Agreed all libraries should adopt responsive/bootstrap design for services - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • I think it's also important to think beyond just content delivery with BYOD. We have issues and questions relating to liability when working with students on their own devices. Services that we've always had (i.e. printing) become a new challenge when considering BYOD. I can't tell you the number of times I've had students "just need to print a paper to turn in" from their phone and the answer is email it to yourself, download and print from a library computer. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015
  • That statement above implies to me that the folks assisting students need to be well-skilled in how the various devices work. That does not mean they have to know everything, but they have to know how to figure it out. We're selling ourselves short with policies such as one I heard about in an academic library where staff are not allowed to touch a student's device at all. - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 11, 2015 Strongly agree with what Michael says here; important to acknowledge that we don't have to know everything, but do have to be willing to learn/figure it out.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Apr 14, 2015 - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015 I wrote a wavier form like our technology service desk has to get around this issue. Admin is happy and we get to be where students need us to be. It's a bit clunky, but it's a solution for now until admin thinking changes. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 15, 2015
  • - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015BYOD there are still a range of things that a student expects to do that is delivered only on university networks in many institutions, for example, plagiarism checking or bibliographic software. Ideally we want students to access as much as possible on their own devices from anywhere. Network security and institutional demands from software licences may have to change to accommodate this. How good it would be just to say to students - here is the package of tools we need you to use you can have them on you own device within you study portal. At the moment what licenses that are available to do this are prohibitively expensive.
  • - jan.howden jan.howden Apr 12, 2015access to power remains an issue for students using devices for many activities throughout the day. The usability of device for prolonged activities is perhaps an issue that has to be addressed by improving digital literacy and enabling students to use their devices differently. For example, recording answers to questions, using shared services rather than direct messages or email. Enabling students to use their devices in collaborative learning environments by allowing them to take over large screens or distribute the content created collaboratively through shared cloud space/ apps. Libraries should provide the shared technology and support for collaborative working. Why should a student lose access to their digital course content after they leave the institution?

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Might be worthwhile to add a line or two addressing how BYOD affects learning spaces and how it provides challenges for learning facilitators in libraries (e.g., if we're going to support learners using their own devices, we need to be somewhat familiar with a wider range of devices).- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Apr 7, 2015- lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015 - Sandy.hirsh Sandy.hirsh Apr 19, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015 - janice.welburn janice.welburn Apr 20, 2015
  • This is a call for an evolving skill set for the folks that serve learners. From the librarian shaming Tumblr: “I want to replace all librarians with tech people with great customer service skills and teaching ability. I want the library to have its own Genius Bar.” !!! I wrote a column about this. It probably fits better in the roles categories, but BYOD does impact the work of the folks at a "genius bar." - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 11, 2015
  • This is a great point - skills of librarians in designing responsive design platforms are sorely needed, although services like libguides improving things here but danger of creating vanilla instruction look and feel - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • Make use of increasing NFC in mobile devices for quantified building- DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • Library labs disappearing -any space can become a library with BYOD- DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015 I agree for the most part, but speciality labs still have a place. - lcshedd lcshedd Apr 15, 2015 - ahaar ahaar Apr 25, 2015 I disagree with this point for the same reasons we see that the book isn't disappearing - these labs provide a place and opportunity for instruction. - lcshedd lcshedd May 8, 2015 Exactly, Annemarie. I have a lab with 11 computers and had more than 2000 students in during the month of April alone.

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • lib customers will only accept digital services if they fits to theirs tech platform - andreas.kirstein andreas.kirstein Mar 31, 2015 - JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 4, 2015- lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015 - mstephens7 mstephens7 Apr 11, 2015
  • User communities will find the most convenient resources for their information needs and if the library is not perceived as convenient, they will go elsewhere.- JoanLippincott JoanLippincott Apr 4, 2015 - dianeb dianeb Apr 10, 2015- lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015
  • BYOD creates the expanded learning opportunities that come with learners already being familiar with the tools used in the learning process rather than having to learn a tech tool before diving into the subject area at the heart of any specific learning opportunity; BYOD also implies more mobility and flexibility in library users' approach to what libraries offer--even something as simple as access to a library online catalog changes when the library user is not dependent on library-provided equipment for that access.- paul.signorelli paul.signorelli Apr 7, 2015- lcshedd lcshedd Apr 10, 2015
  • Need wider investigation of mobile-friendly contextual triggers, ala iBeacon. The QR Code is (or should be) dead, yet the need for simple contextual links between physical spaces or objects and the web is growing. - dicksonk dicksonk Apr 9, 2015 The popularity of the QR code with teacher librarians in primary school indicates it is having something of a renaissance. - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?


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