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BLOG: Bringing your own technology to school

Matt Richards | June 3, 2013
Students’ access to the latest devices, such as tablets, will bring new ways to learn when challenges are overcome with technology.

We have various ways to tackle this. One way is to make our services available via a simple Web browser. Another is to go with virtualisation on user devices.

On campus, Mac laptop users can log in to Windows-only services, by running the Parallels Desktop 8 for Mac virtualisation software that lets them fire up Windows simultaneously.

This is just one way to expand BYOT to students here, who consist of about 1,000 kindergarten and primary and secondary school students.

For a decade now, we have been enabling staff to bring their own devices to the school at Port Macquarie, New South Wales, Australia. The productivity improvements and convenience have been noted over the years.

When users bring these new devices to the campus, it does not have to mean chaos in the network. Rather, by planning ahead, schools could leverage on this concept of continuous, connected learning.

Indeed, in the past few years, schools in Australia have been looking to BYOT as a way forward. This is not unlike big corporations, which are also seeking to let mobile workers bring their own devices to the office.

Some 40 percent of employees in Asia Pacific will be mobile workers by 2015, according to research firm IDC in a report last year.

The old issues of security, compatibility and control still come to mind. Yet, today, with so much riding on BYOT, the challenges it brings is more than offset by the benefits it brings.

Matt Richards is e-Learning Manager, St Columba Anglican School. 




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