Yes, BYOD, but fix it yourself.

Yes, BYOD, but fix it yourself.

Summary: A school that is part of the BYOD trend is outsourcing technical support to its own students.

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TOPICS: iPad, Mobility
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Bringing your own device to school? Is it damaged? Ask another student to fix it.

Bring your own device (BYOD) schemes may save schools investing in large numbers of modern mobile devices -- such as smartphones, tablets and MP3 players -- but what procedures have to be implemented when problems arise?

If a school puts a BYOD scheme in place, in order to save them from liability if a device breaks or is stolen, then responsibility lies with the student or parent. However, when a device malfunctions or breaks, one school has placed their students in charge of technical support.

At The Illawarra grammar school, New South Wales, Australia, students across six year groups are required to bring their own device for use in class. Specific brands are not required; instead, any devices used must be able to perform a set list of tasks -- such as supporting word processing or email.

However, the popular choice for many students is an Apple device, and so the school has chosen to use the Cupertino-based company for additional support -- and it plans to install a dedicated phone line in the library for this purpose.

In order to allow students to take control of their own device maintenance and for teachers to also learn more about the products, Apple will be taking a hand in training the 'student technology team' to provide support.

Originally, the IT department and teachers at the Australian school felt concern over passing control of supporting devices into the hands of their students.

Leanne Windsor, information services director said:

"Teachers are our biggest worry. They are scared of relinquishing control. But it's less work for teachers because they don't need to organise any equipment when students BYOD."

Another challenge that schools face is the transition from controlled Internet access on networked computers to personal devices that are individually linked to a school's wireless capabilities. If a device is managed by an IT department, then the control of the device lies with staff. Instead, with BYOD, the owner is in charge -- and can download and install as they please.

Schools that chose to trial bring your own device schemes will therefore be required to accept that students must be responsible for their device -- in terms of both activity and maintenance.

(via SMH)

Image credit: Tom Raftery

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Topics: iPad, Mobility

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12 comments
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  • The title is the correct policy...

    ...at both school and work (unless there is a real need for secrecy). Bring your own device, if you must, but it doesn't oblige anyone else to help you connect to the local network.
    John L. Ries
    • Why?

      If one goes with a BYOD policy then they should have the IT support to help put that device on the network. After that then no the company is not responsible for it unless it somehow endangers the security of the corporate intranet. In that case it should be barred from the network and the employee and someone from IT need to collaborate to see how and why it's a risk and come up with a solution.
      NonFanboy
      • Why again?

        Why should organizations have to spend money to support unofficial devices? How does that help the organization better perform its functions?

        Reply to wright_is:

        Organizations with those sorts of security concerns shouldn't be allowing people to connect their own devices to the network. Indeed, they should probably not have wireless networks at all.

        And the idea that people are going to buy devices with their own money only to allow their employers to dictate how they're used doesn't strike me as very realistic. If employers want to control the hardware, then they need to own it.
        John L. Ries
      • Not only put it on the network...

        harden it, ensure that security software is installed (laptops) or that PIN codes, passwords, encryption etc. are enabled on phones and tablets.

        They also have to have a policy in place. If you bring an iPad to work and use it for e-mail or accessing corporate data, then you cannot share that device with family members or friends.

        The company (at least in Europe) has a duty of care for the safe keeping of corporate data, especially personal data (data which can be used to identify a unique person, such as mobile number, email address, postal address with name etc.). If they don't ensure that those BYOD devices are secure and aren't being shared at home, then they open up their IT manager/director and the board to prosecution, fines and possible imprisonment.
        wright_is
      • @John L Ries

        Because they are responsible for the network and the data on it. If the device is unofficial, then it should NOT be put on the company network or used to access e-mail (push accounts etc.) - see my post above.

        In Europe, it is a major issue, which could lead to fines and inprisonment for those involved, if data is leaked outside the company.

        For example, if you have your company contact list and email account on your private iPad (or company iPad for that matter), then the iPad has to be secured (PIN number is generally accepted) and, if you share the iPad with other family members at home, then you have to (theoretically), get written permission from all of your contacts, that you can share their contact data with people outside your company!

        Maybe the US is a little more lax on data security, especially personal data, than Europe, but BYOD (along with cloud services hosted by US companies) are incredibly thorny issues and can cause companies really big headaches.

        @JLR's reply to me...

        Yes, in some ways, people are going to be miffed, if they bring their own device and the corporate IT department wants to lock it down and put restrictions on the use of the device, before it can attach to the network.

        But, realistically, they have no choice. They are legally responsible for the data, so they can't let it get onto some "loose" device, where some 5 year old tapping away at daddy's iPad accidentaly sends out the company contact list to a competitor! (Okay, unlikely scenario, but you get the point, the CIO and CEO don't want to end up in prison, because 5 year old Johnny pressed the wrong button.)

        If the employee wants to use his own device for company work, he has to accept some restrictions or he has to get on and do the work on the hardware the company provides. Simple.
        wright_is
      • @JLR

        [b]Why should organizations have to spend money to support unofficial devices?[/b]

        Because that is saving the organization money by them not having to provide the hardware - provided they have a BYOD policy in place. The IT structure should already be in place - depending on the organization. [b]

        How does that help the organization better perform its functions?[/b]

        Depends on the device and the user - for example if a user is more productive with their own iPad or Android tablet as opposed to a desktop PC then that extra productivity makes the organization money.
        NonFanboy
      • @wright_is

        [b]They also have to have a policy in place. If you bring an iPad to work and use it for e-mail or accessing corporate data, then you cannot share that device with family members or friends.

        The company (at least in Europe) has a duty of care for the safe keeping of corporate data, especially personal data (data which can be used to identify a unique person, such as mobile number, email address, postal address with name etc.). If they don't ensure that those BYOD devices are secure and aren't being shared at home, then they open up their IT manager/director and the board to prosecution, fines and possible imprisonment.[/b]

        Most companies that have laptops and/or smartphones for their employees to use outside of the office should already have such policies in place - these policies can easily be extended for use with BYOD issues.
        NonFanboy
      • @NonFanBoy

        It is to be hoped... It is also to be hoped, that they extend those policies to BYOD and keep control on who brings what into the workplace and ensure that they are securely set up, before they are attached to the network.

        But I fear a lot of companies see the benefits, without thinking about the legal implications and a lot of users don't know what laws they are possibly breaking/what liability they are opening up their bosses to, when they attach a BYOD device to the company network without authorization and without first getting it secured.
        wright_is
  • "Grammar" school?

    [i]The Illawarra grammar school[/i]

    This need some clarification for U.S. readers. Is that the same as a U.S. "elementary school" (also called a "grammar school")? Because the oldest students at a US elementary/grammar school are around 10-11 years old--US 6th grade. Many US school systems have "middle school" for grades 6-8, meaning the oldest students at a "grammar school" would be in 5th grade.
    Rick_R
    • Usually private secondary colleges, years 7 to 12

      --
      Patanjali
  • With everything being delegated and devalued,

    If workers are expected to bring in their own gear and pay for everything down to security, while we see wages stagnate or drop as well (deflation is cool)... has anybody bothered to look beyond the immediate sticker prices and how delegation and devalue only benefits certain people and for only certain long a period of time?
    HypnoToad72
  • Don't use NSW schools as an example of how to run educational computers

    Some bright spark 20 years ago allowed each state owned school to manage their own computers. That has meant that the statewide network, of which one in five people in NSW have logins (about 1 million users), had to have someone physically touch each computer to perform system wide software upgrades. A multitude of makes, models, OSs and support topologies makes for a real mess.

    Hopefully that has changed with the rollout of standard laptops to each student.


    As a former tech manager at a computer manufacturer, I suggest that any state education system build their own computers or buy all of the same with several years of spare parts (or even whole computers/laptops). If one breaks, just replace it.

    It would only take a few people to keep a system the size of NSW's supplied, whereas there are many more required for the current IT liaison beauracracy.

    Don't need lots of R&D because student needs are not cutting edge.
    Patanjali