BYOD (Bring Your Own Device)

History & Philosophy


In 2012, Alberta Education pioneered an initiative for schools in Alberta to engage in an opportunity to further the 21st century skills in students through the use of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) programming. Through much research, professional development, and feedback from all stakeholders, SCS became a BYOD school for Grades 10-12 in 2014. In 2016, this programming was extended to Grade 9.


BYOD refers to technology models where students bring a personally owned device to school for the purpose of learning. This is different from "1:1" models in which schools provide enough devices within their building for each student to access technology throughout the day. In these models, students are typically unable to take these devices home as they must remain with the classroom or school. 


SCS believes in the importance of developing digital literacy skills in students to ensure their success for living and working in an ever-changing complex digital world. Through our BYOD programming, students our given a greater opportunity to develop such 21st century skills as:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision making skills
  • Technological Operations and Concepts
  • Digital Citizenship 

Further, BYOD programming enhances student learning through:

  • Dynamic classrooms that feature collaboration and ongoing feedback loops
  • Convenience for students to engage in their learning “anytime, anywhere”
  • Authentic and inquisitive learning environments that increase engagement through the use of technology

2022 Survey Results

In February 2022, SCS leadership sought feedback from students (Grade 9-12) and teachers on several facets of our BYOD programming. Through a Google survey, information was gathered to inform the following topics:

  • What devices are students using in the school?
  • Impacts of BYOD on learning
  • Benefits and drawbacks of BYOD
  • Utilization of technology in the classroom
  • Life without BYOD

What follows is a synthesis of the data collected through this survey:


1. What devices are students using in the school? 

  • Chromebooks (Google/Asus/Acer/Lenovo) ~45%
  • PC (Dell/HP/Microsoft): ~26%
  • MacBook: ~24%
  • Other: ~5%

* Approximately 97% of students surveyed are using their own device. The remaining population would borrow/loan a school owned Chromebook 


2. Impacts of BYOD on learning

Students at SCS strongly indicated that BYOD programming has positively impacted their learning as shown in Figure 1:

Figure 1 (BYOD Survey)

Specifically, students identified the following as benefits for BYOD programming:

  • Personalization
  • Sense of security and privacy
  • Sanitation (Not having to use a device that was used by another student in the previous class)
  • Efficiency & Logistics (Ex. Leaving Tabs open, login time)
  • Homework can be completed any time, any place

Specifically, students identified the following as drawbacks for BYOD programming:

  • Added responsibility (ie., Making sure the device is charged, fear of loss/damage)
  • Financial commitment
  • Distractions - Students recognized this as a general technology implication which would exist regardless of device ownership (school or personal)

Specifically, the survey asked students to respond to the statement "Being able to bring my own device to school has helped me achieve better results in school."

  • 96% of SCS students agreed with this statement


3. Utilization in the Classroom

Students at SCS strongly indicated that the use of their device in the classroom was both well utilized and rightly incorporated as shown in Figure 2:

Figure 2 (BYOD Survey)

Teachers at SCS expressed the impact of BYOD in their classrooms in the following ways:

  • 73% indicated they had experimented with new teaching methods as a result of being a BYOD school
  • 87% indicated that BYOD programming provided access to higher quality learning tools and resources for their classes
  • 87% indicated that student engagement in class was either the same or significantly increased due to BYOD programing 
  • 60% indicated that BYOD programming had improved the overall quality of the classroom experience for students 


4. Life without BYOD

Both students and teachers were asked to consider the impacts to teaching and learning in the absence of BYOD programming. Respondents were instead to imagine their classrooms that would rely on school owned devices such as Chromebooks/Chrome-carts. Responses include:

  • 80% of students indicated that a shift away from BYOD would negatively impact their learning in some way
  • 93% of teachers indicated a BYOD model as the ideal use of technology in their classrooms
  • 67% of teachers indicated that a shift from a BYOD model would significantly impact the amount of time spent on day-to-day administrative work (less time to focus on teaching and learning)
  • 67% of teachers indicated that a shift from a BYOD model would significantly impact their instructional practices 




FAQ & Tips

SCS recognizes that choosing a device for you child to use for BYOD is not an easy decision. Below are some frequently asked questions and tips to consider before you purchase a device.


1. Is one device better than another?

While we would never tell families what device to purchase, it is key that the device chosen can connect to the internet and have a some sort of a keyboard. Beyond this, it may be prudent to consider:

  • Cost: Chromebooks are typically the most cost effective device as they can be found for as low as $150/device
  • Longevity: While some devices may cost more than others, this may be due to the fact that they last longer. Researching the durability and longevity of devices may lead to a student being able to use their device from Grade 9 and beyond High School
  • Timing: Devices will typically go on sale right before "back-to-school" in August, "Cyber-Monday" in November, or Christmas time
  • Battery life: Researching devices that have a long-lasting battery can be helpful to a student who will be using their device throughout the day

2. What happens if you don't have a device?

  • If a student does not have a device for a single day (maybe they left it at home) they are able to sign-out a school owned Chromebook from the Commons (library)
  • If a student does not have a personally owned device, it is important that this is indicated to the school prior to September so that arrangements can be made for either a semester or year-long loan of a school owned Chromebook