Excerpt from our ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook

The importance of access to technology, particularly 1:1 (ie one pupil having personal access to a computing device) cannot be underestimated. The Sutton Trust, an organisation aimed at helping social mobility through education, has recently stated that 1:1 computing can help children from disadvantaged backgrounds keep pace with their more affluent peers. By having 1:1 access to a PC or browser device, pupils can be empowered to offer feed-back, conduct peer-assisted learning strategies, complete homework and learn ICT skills. This, in turn, will help them be more prepared for the 21st century workplace. Learning technology skills is becoming increasingly imperative for school children; in the near future it is estimated almost 90% of jobs to require knowledge of ICT, therefore equipping pupils on a 1:1 basis with technology becomes even more essential.

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One possible method for schools to equip pupils without incurring major hardware costs is to mirror the business community with a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) scheme.  Enabling pupils to bring their own technology alleviates schools from the cost of having to supply the hardware, while simultaneously saving time and costs of any training for the pupils because they are already familiar with the device. And research shows that schools already adopting this policy; Research from RM shows that 62 percent of secondary schools have already adopted a BYOD approach or intend to within the next 12 months. 

However, there are complicated elements for schools to also consider, such as technical restrictions, cyber security and management as well as how teachers can manage and assist with learning if the student devices are all different.  One way around this could be that all devices must be internet ready – a scheme Bournemouth University runs and calls BYOB – Bring your own Browser. In this model the emphasis is not on the device, but on the device’s ability to access and browse the internet.  All content creation and consumption can then be done through the browser in a uniform manner.

Our full ‘Enabling and inspiring students and teachers with Windows 8’ eBook can be viewed/downloaded below for free.