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Survey offers snapshot of BYOD in K-20

3 min read


More schools are adopting bring-your-own-device initiatives, and the trend is expected to grow during the next five years, according to a survey conducted by the Software & Information Industry Association.

Results of the annual online SIIA Vision: K-20 Survey were released in June and for the first time, the survey asked participants about BYOD policies. Responses were collected from about 1,500 educators working in K-20.

The use of student-owned devices varied by education level with two- and four-year postsecondary institutions allowing the devices most often — 83% and 95%, respectively. Only 20% of respondents from the elementary sector said they allow students to use their own devices, 48% of secondary-school participants and 46% of K-12 district respondents said they allow BYOD.

“BYOD is definitely gaining ground,” said Susan Meell, CEO of MMS Education, during a recent webinar. MMS Education provided data analysis for the final report. “Postsecondary is way ahead, but K-12 will be catching up quickly if you look at what they’ve planned over the next five years,” she added.

If survey participants’ expectations come to fruition, there could be a dramatic increase in BYOD over the next five years. Seventy percent of elementary schools, 83% of secondary schools and 87% of the K-12 district sector respondents say they expect to allow BYOD in five years.


More than 75% of those in K-12 that allow BYOD do so with restrictions on classroom use, according to the survey. About 50% of postsecondary participants place restrictions on use of personal devices.

Some of the most common restrictions indicated by survey respondents include: Students must follow district and school policies and must use devices for educational purposes only — no Twitter, texting, social media, Facebook, games or music, Meell said. Respondents also said that teachers often have discretion over classroom use of devices and that they are allowed to confiscate a device if a student is using it improperly.

“Schools are still struggling with this trying to figure out the best way to allow students to bring their own devices in, but they are figuring it out, and [the survey] clearly says you’ll be seeing more devices in the years ahead,” Meell said.

Access the full report and executive summary. SmartBrief Education is one of more than 25 Vision K-20 partners and supporters that directed members and readers to this year’s survey.

Melissa Greenwood is SmartBrief’s senior education editor, with responsibility for the content in a variety of SmartBrief’s education e-news briefs. She also manages content for SmartBlog on Education and related social media channels. Prior to joining SmartBrief, Melissa held a variety of positions in the education field, including classroom teacher and education editor and writer.