Consumer Technologies Are Making Headway in Schools

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Imagine access to your district’s email system on mobile devices tripled over two weeks. This is exactly what Deb Karcher, CIO of Miami Dade Public Schools and her team faced after Christmas 2012. “Santa Syndrome,” a term coined by Karcher, resulted in the 50,000 users accessing the email system on personal devices before winter break jumping to 150,000 when the schools reopened after the holidays. Fortunately, the district has plenty of bandwidth to support such an influx to their enterprise applications, including email. 

This trend of using consumer products to access a school’s cloud-based applications refers to the“consumerization” of IT. Also involved in the trend is the explosion of the BYOD in schools, forcing students to use personal devices on the school’s network. It’s revolutionizing the way teachers instruct, and requires more support from tech teams.