According to the National Retail Federation, 60% of the $29.5 billion spent on back-to-school shopping nationwide will be spent on electronics, EdTech: Focus on K-12 reports.
Amid a rise in BYOD programs in K-12, 45% of parents told the NRF that they plan to purchase a laptop for their student's use, while 35% plan to buy a tablet — but a rise in two-in-one devices is expected to see those devices account for 58 million of all units sold by 2019.
The expected influx in devices will demand that administrators ensure their buildings' infrastructure is adequately upgraded to handle the load.
Along with ensuring network infrastructure is upgraded to handle the number of devices that will be demanding access, administrators must also make sure any curricular materials and applications required are supported by a variety of devices and operating systems. Not doing so could result in additional headaches — especially after parents have spent a significant amount of money on a device. To avoid this, BYOD schools can send device specifications and suggested models to parents ahead of the back-to-school shopping season.
The argument can be made that schools providing their own devices to students can also sidestep such a scenario, but school-provided tech also comes with its own set of headaches. For example, there's the consideration of whether students can take the devices home with them, how much their families are liable to pay in the event the device gets damaged if they do take it home, and whether parents should be required to pay a fee for device insurance at the beginning of the year to account for that possibility.
Ultimately, a 1:1 program requires significant planning for any of these and other eventualities regardless of who's responsible for providing the device, and schools and districts should take steps to make sure all bases are covered ahead of rolling out any tech-dependent classroom model.