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BYOD is more about BYOC

Posted on: April 16, 2014

Mobile Worker by mikecogh, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic License  by  mikecogh 

The move to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to work or school is not new. I have reflected on BYOD before.

Whatever the issues it addresses or creates, there is another good reason for it. Armed with devices, workers and learners Bring Your Own Connections (BYOC).

It is a first world problem to be carrying more than one mobile device at any one time. With modern work and play, this is practically a necessity.

It is also a first world problem that the workplace or school might not be able to provide enough bandwidth for you or it might block the resources you need. That is why you bring your own connection: To get work done or to access the learning resources you need.

When Internet access to Google Docs or to my blog slows down at work, I switch over to the LTE connection on my iPhone or iPad mini. This happens every work day.

If a work filter blocks a conference site because it thinks it is something illegal, I BYOC.

If a port is blocked so that I cannot use an Apple TV, a Chromecast, or Air Server, I BYOC.

If I am running a workshop and either I or my participants lack Internet access, I provide it because I BYOC.

When my wife attended an iBooks workshop at her school, neither the default SSOE (school standard operating environment) or the SWN (segregated wireless network) provided the access or bandwidth to download iBooks Author. So by sharing her 4G connection, she used up 829MB of her 2GB monthly quota that day to get the job done.

Almost two years ago, a few CeL staff and I were at a conference that was supposed to provide wifi for our demonstration stall. The signal was so weak and intermittent that I had to resort to using my 3G dongle and a mini router.

This is bandwidth and access that I am providing and paying for because someone else cannot meet the demand. This is not for my entertainment or unofficial purposes.

At CeL’s next department meeting, I might purchase a MiFi device and a colleague and I might show the rest how to create our own ad hoc hotspot for work, workshops, or any other circumstances when BYOC is needed.

Some people might say that I am being foolish by providing and paying for what someone else should be doing. But I focus on getting the job done and done well. Doing this does not burn a hole in my pocket. The returns on my reputation and quality of my work are well worth the investment.

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2 Responses to "BYOD is more about BYOC"

I like your take on “getting the job done”, whether it’s your organisation’s resources or your own. But I do hope institutions will move fast enough to recognise the need for better infrastructure to meet the demands of the ever changing IT landscape.


Agreed. Wifi access should be treated like electricity, a basic utility required for work.

But in this case, I say we be prepared to bring our own little generators because IT folks tend not to think like ICT folks. For example, things will revolve around standardization and security instead of exploration and pedagogy. As the former is conservative and the latter progressive, there will be gaps. I say we take the initiative to fill those gaps instead of waiting or complaining.


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