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Digital teaching? Of course! - But who procures the end devices?

Digital teaching

Many education and training providers as well as companies are deciding to implement digital teaching. From a technical perspective, this requires not only the selection of suitable software but also the procurement of appropriate end devices such as tablets, notebooks, PCs or smartphones. Should the provider buy these, for example, or is a BYOD model preferable? We present different models and their advantages and disadvantages.


Model 1 - "Donation" of the end devices by the provider

Particularly in long training and continuing education courses, the provider can buy the end devices and give them to the participants. The participant then receives a tablet as a "gift," for example, can use it for digital instruction and keep it afterwards.


  • Advantageous conditions due to large procurement volume
  • The participant receives a nice welcome gift through a device (even if he eventually pays for it himself through his course fee).
  • Standardization benefits, as all participants have the same device.
  • The provider does not bear the support costs of the devices, as they become the property of the participants as a gift at the beginning of the course.


  • Depending on the type of equipment, the training provider may incur considerable costs in total. The model is therefore only suitable for courses of longer duration or in the upper price segment.
  • The participant usually has no say in the purchase and his individual preferences are not taken into account. He may also already have the same device privately, which greatly reduces the subjective value of the gift.
  • Especially at the beginning of the event, the participant is not yet familiar with the device. Thus, a short "warm-up" phase and support by the provider is needed.


Model 2 - "Lending" the digital devices to the participants

The training provider may procure equipment itself and make it available to participants for the duration of the course.


  • The supplier can procure in large quantities at advantageous conditions.
  • A homogeneous device landscape is created.


  • The participants are not familiar with the equipment, as they only use it on loan. This results in additional support effort for the provider.
  • The provider is the owner of the devices and thus also responsible for their system integration and functioning. This applies to integration into the provider's WLAN. Tablets, for example, should also be integrated into the provider's mobile device management platform to protect against misuse and to maintain the system environment. However, this requires specific IT knowledge, i.e., the training provider must build up IT competencies here.
  • The provider incurs significant costs in acquiring the equipment.
  • After 2-3 years, the end devices become obsolete and need to be renewed, which translates into a continuous need for investment.
  • Once the participant has familiarized himself with the equipment, he must unfortunately return it.


Model 3 - Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

The BYOD approach is becoming more and more fashionable not only among companies but also in educational institutions. Participants procure their own devices and bring them to class.


  • No costs are incurred by the provider.
  • The participants are usually very familiar with their equipment and do not need any introduction.
  • The responsibility for operating the devices lies with the participants. This means that the provider does not incur any support costs.


  • Many software solutions quickly reach their limits with BYOD. The software must be optimized for all device types (smartphone, tablet, notebook, PC) as well as operating systems (Windows, Android, iOS). This is technically demanding. If, in addition, there is to be more than just a simple web view, separate apps must be developed, which increases the complexity of the environment. The provider must therefore focus on the selection of suitable software in a BYOD setting.


Model 4 - Voucher - combination of "gift" and BYOD

The provider can also aim for a combination of Model 1 and Model 3 by giving participants a voucher but leaving the purchase of the terminal equipment to the participants themselves.


  • Participants are usually very familiar with their equipment and do not need any introduction.
  • The responsibility for operating the devices lies with the participants. This means that the provider does not incur any support costs.
  • In addition to this, the participant will receive a gift.
  • In addition, the provider has more flexibility in terms of the value of the "gift" and can, for example, only partially finance the purchase of certain equipment. This makes this option attractive for smaller training programs as well.


  • Some participants perceive vouchers as subjectively worth less than a physical device.
    Vouchers are usually tied to a specific distributor.



Model 2 is, in our opinion, a rather unfavorable constellation, as this variant is associated with high costs for the provider, a high support effort but only little benefit for the participants.
All other variants, on the other hand, offer balanced advantages and disadvantages and must be carefully weighed in consideration of the goals, design and financial strength of the training program. As a cloud-based, device-independent and cross-platform LMS, MaxBrain is suitable for all variants.

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