Throughout this blog series on BYOD and 1:1 Tablet Implementation, we’ll learn about the types of BYOD scheme, the numerous benefits, the challenges of implementing these schemes and the potential cost savings they can offer.
While it’s important to remember that BYOD shouldn’t be adopted as a main cost-saving solution for schools (check out our advice on Moving to the Cloud as a starting point), there are certainly tangible cost savings to be made if your school’s network and infrastructure is up to speed.
Moving their communication tools and software to the cloud is still probably the main area schools should be focussing on, and cloud computing opens itself up to BYOD schemes, as all the apps you need to use are in the cloud and device access is cloud-based - so the two go hand in hand.
Schools adopting BYOD are one step ahead if they’ve already moved to the cloud, but if they’re still using legacy apps installed locally on PCs, they’ll need to carefully plan how they move over to BYOD.
But it’s also important to look at the total cost of supporting BYOD devices, both from a technological aspect and in terms of potential support costs. A lot of this comes down to the school’s existing infrastructure.
Some schools may find that their infrastructure doesn’t support the increased number of devices. When schools know there is a fixed number they need to support, it’s straightforward for them to scale it; but as soon as you add in numerous devices, the school’s wireless capacity can become saturated and all the bandwidth taken up.
One school local to RM introduced it for their Sixth Form, but teachers complained the bandwidth was taken up too much, especially at break times. We explored this issue and discovered the increased bandwidth was down to YouTube and Spotify streaming, which we were then able to block or restrict at certain times.
As long as you have the right infrastructure in place, ensure your school has a robust broadband solution which can handle increased bandwidth and apply the right filters to ensure devices are used for learning in school time, then the cost savings can certainly be significant.
For more advice, insights and tips on which BYOD solution could be right for your school, check out the other blogs in our BYOD series at www.rm.com/blog or contact us for more information.