Whether it’s a result of excellent marketing by major electronics and telco companies, or simply of personal information addictions, we’ve become a population who are constantly attached to hardware appendages. Increasingly, organizations are tapping into our connectivity compulsion by allowing (or even requiring) their people to use their own devices on company networks. Naturally, this allows for cost savings. Increased software standardization has made the IT headache manageable.
The business world’s adoption of BYOD got moving rapidly after Intel recognized the practice officially in 2009. In the education sector, a BYOD policy of sorts has always been in place. While school computer labs were common places for homework in the 1980s and 1990s, personal laptops have since become ubiquitous at college campuses and are becoming more prevalent at the highschool level. Distance education exists almost exclusively on user-owned devices. The rapid evolution of their availability is giving schools with limited budgets pause when it comes to large hardware acquisitions. It isn’t difficult to imagine a superintendent questioning the purchase of a few hundred tablets while his staff are having trouble getting kids to set down the screens that they brought from home. It might make more sense to invest in network infrastructure that provides for greater network speed and blocks social media.
Rupert Murdoch’s Newscorp announced recently that it intends to sell is highly touted EdTech division, “Amplify,” at a loss. Amplify had trouble gaining traction in US schools. Its model revolved around software that only ran on proprietary tablets that were sold as class sets. Newscorp took a $371 M write down on Amplify. Likely the eventual sale price will reflect the value of Amplify’s learning content, which will subsequently be made available to other networked devices.
In the developing world, where English learning EdTech is growing the most rapidly, schools are unlikely to invest in any hardware, let alone tablets that only run a single suite of software. ELL Technologies has built its business on the adaptability and scalability of the BYOD trend. All levels of the company’s learning technology are usable through students’ own devices, through hardware a school may already own, or through hardware the school may elect to purchase in the future.
Our mission to provide accessibility to English learners of all ages is being made easier by the non-stop proliferation of devices that is being orchestrated by large hardware companies. As devices continue to get faster and cheaper, we’re looking forward to being able to constantly improve our learning systems and changing the way the world learns English.