Personal devices might replace UVU computers soon

A new Bring Your Own Device policy has been proposed, which might affect the amount of computers available to students. BYOD or Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is a policy that permits employees or students to bring and use their own devices (laptops, smartphones and tablets) to access work or school applications. If the administration adopts this policy, it would mean that the computers in the Fulton Library, classroom labs and offices would be taken away; students and employees would have to bring and use their own devices. This would be a welcome development, especially as most students and employment already come to the school with their devices.

According to MBA research, many companies are beginning to adopt the BYOD policy to increase efficiency and reduce costs of maintaining and updating company devices. Companies see the advantage of cutting down the expense of providing computers for employees.

With the increase in smartphones, tablets and iPads, the traditional desktop computer systems might soon become obsolete. For now, is the UVU community prepared and able to make use of personal devices for both work and school? Do all students own devices suitable for school purposes?

Jordan Kratochvil, IT manager for UVU’s School of General Academics “University College,” said the BYOD policy is not yet official because the administration is taking their time to consider the pros and cons. “Adopting the Bring Your Own Device policy is a very complex process and will take years to implement successfully,” Kratochvil said. “The administration has been studying research conducted on BYOD and will also conduct its own research and surveys before any decision is taken on the matter.”

It is possible that UVU would save a lot of money if they no longer provide computers for students and employees. This is likely why the school is considering the policy and trying to figure out how to implement it. However, John Berry, UVU’s director of desktop support, said it wasn’t so much an issue of cutting costs than the need to keep up with the latest trends in technology and teaching methods. “The education department is already trying out the BYOD with one of its computer labs. If the policy is successfully implemented, this would move UVU into the forefront of education. But we want to be inclusive and progressive, and we certainly need student feedback on this,” Berry said.

Some students wondered how the policy might affect students who do not own laptops. “It might be a good idea for classrooms, but some people cannot afford laptops or printers,” said Rebecca Jackson, a legal studies major. “I don’t think it’s a good idea school wide, except if the school will provide devices for students who can’t afford it,” she said.

According to Berry, the policy if implemented will definitely consider students who do not own devices. Already, the administration is having talks with companies like Dell to come up with an arrangement for subsidized devices. “Student specialty and need will determine the sort of devices that would be procured,” he said. “Students studying computer programming or digital media might need a different device than a student who needs a device just for essays.”

It is a good thing that the school administration is taking time to consider the effects of the policy on the university community, but the BYOD policy if implemented would not cause much of a hassle, it might even be a relief to many students and employees who prefer using their own devices. The BYOD policy will be a positive development because of the funds it would free for the school and also because the future seems to be pointing in a direction where everyone will own a device.

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