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Expensive smartphones REQUIRED for lectures? watch

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    I'd heard from one or two people that their university required them to have a smartphone or tablet, then the emails/webpages I was sent by mine confirmed that I, too, would be taking part in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Frankly, I think this is a terrible idea.

    While my family aren't exactly on the breadline, we (myself included) see the new smartphone models that come out every year as an unecessary expense. I have a Samsung Galaxy something-or-other I bought a year and a half ago, and it cost me £80; I resent being charged over £100 for a phone. (I hate them. They're invasive and horribly expensive to keep running.) It runs on Android 4.1.2 (jellybean) but apparently the minimum I need for the apps we'll be using is 4.2.0. I hate my phone but so long as it's still working, I see no need to replace it! Until now.

    What are people supposed to do if they can't fork out upwards of £30 a month (not including insurance) for a pocket gadget that is easily damaged, lost or stolen? Why wasn't I informed of this weeks ago so I could look into buying a new phone right for me, and factor it into my budget? I'm already stressing out about starting uni, this is the last thing I need right now. I'm worried I won't be able to partake in my sessions properly.

    tl;dr What I wanted to ask is what can I do about this? Is there a way to upgrade my phone's OS, or will I need a new phone altogether? Will the university provide me with one/money towards it, or will it have to come out of my own pocket? (I'm starting at University of Manchester btw.) It's a pretty big assumption that everybody can put money aside for these things.

    I'm so upset and angry. Why does it have to be so complicated? Thanks for any help you can give me xxx
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    Who demands this?

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    You might be able to install a custom ROM (such as Cyanogenmod) on the phone but it would probably void the phones warranty, it is likely to be quite buggy and you will lose your data if you don't backup first.

    Alternatively assuming you are on pay as you go you might be eligible for an upgrade in which case you can buy a new androifd smartphone for £10 from Carphone Warehouse which would probably meet the minimum requirements for the app.
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    Wait hold on a sec, what on earth do they demand you have a smart phone for? My uni has an app, but it is mainly informational. There is nothing on there that can't be accessed online (either via a laptop or campus computer). That's a pretty big expense to expect students to fork out for if they don't already have a smart phone, and a pretty crappy assumption to make if they think all students will have one.
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    (Original post by qwerty52)
    Alternatively assuming you are on pay as you go you might be eligible for an upgrade in which case you can buy a new androifd smartphone for £10 from Carphone Warehouse which would probably meet the minimum requirements for the app.
    I'll have a look into that, thank you.

    (Original post by GoingToBurst)
    Wait hold on a sec, what on earth do they demand you have a smart phone for? My uni has an app, but it is mainly informational. There is nothing on there that can't be accessed online (either via a laptop or campus computer). That's a pretty big expense to expect students to fork out for if they don't already have a smart phone, and a pretty crappy assumption to make if they think all students will have one.
    There are a couple of apps that will be used in lectures, one to show slideshows on the device and another to complete surveys. I have a laptop but those aren't mentioned. It's insane, I'm not paying nine grand a year to be told to spend more money.
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    (Original post by glittergem)
    I'll have a look into that, thank you.



    There are a couple of apps that will be used in lectures, one to show slideshows on the device and another to complete surveys. I have a laptop but those aren't mentioned. It's insane, I'm not paying nine grand a year to be told to spend more money.
    So that's it? Just don't get a phone then. Ask a friend to see the slideshows and complete the surveys. Problem solved.

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    (Original post by glittergem)
    I have a laptop but those aren't mentioned. It's insane, I'm not paying nine grand a year to be told to spend more money.
    If you have a modern Windows laptop or Macbook you could install a program called bluestacks which lets you run android apps on your computer. It's not great but it should be adequate.
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    (Original post by glittergem)
    I'll have a look into that, thank you.



    There are a couple of apps that will be used in lectures, one to show slideshows on the device and another to complete surveys. I have a laptop but those aren't mentioned. It's insane, I'm not paying nine grand a year to be told to spend more money.
    That's the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. If they want you to complete electronic surveys they should be providing you with the means to do so. Can you contact them and ask if there is an allowance towards this? I know that the IT department at my uni give some students allowances towards laptops and things.
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    (Original post by glittergem)
    I'd heard from one or two people that their university required them to have a smartphone or tablet, then the emails/webpages I was sent by mine confirmed that I, too, would be taking part in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Frankly, I think this is a terrible idea.

    While my family aren't exactly on the breadline, we (myself included) see the new smartphone models that come out every year as an unecessary expense. I have a Samsung Galaxy something-or-other I bought a year and a half ago, and it cost me £80; I resent being charged over £100 for a phone. (I hate them. They're invasive and horribly expensive to keep running.) It runs on Android 4.1.2 (jellybean) but apparently the minimum I need for the apps we'll be using is 4.2.0. I hate my phone but so long as it's still working, I see no need to replace it! Until now.

    What are people supposed to do if they can't fork out upwards of £30 a month (not including insurance) for a pocket gadget that is easily damaged, lost or stolen? Why wasn't I informed of this weeks ago so I could look into buying a new phone right for me, and factor it into my budget? I'm already stressing out about starting uni, this is the last thing I need right now. I'm worried I won't be able to partake in my sessions properly.

    tl;dr What I wanted to ask is what can I do about this? Is there a way to upgrade my phone's OS, or will I need a new phone altogether? Will the university provide me with one/money towards it, or will it have to come out of my own pocket? (I'm starting at University of Manchester btw.) It's a pretty big assumption that everybody can put money aside for these things.

    I'm so upset and angry. Why does it have to be so complicated? Thanks for any help you can give me xxx
    My sony E4g is about 14pounds a month, way less then i would pay on pay as you go..it runs kitkat and has a nice feel.
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    Also BYOD is a great teaching tool
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    (Original post by earthworm)
    My sony E4g is about 14pounds a month, way less then i would pay on pay as you go..it runs kitkat and has a nice feel.
    I've had a look at that, and wow! That's a great deal. You can probably tell I don't spend much time on my phone, I just need it to text, call, get internet and now this, so this looks like an affordable solution. (Is 8GB a lot of memory for a phone? I'm better with computers than handheld devices >.<)

    (Original post by earthworm)
    Also BYOD is a great teaching tool
    It sounds it, and I'd love to be able to make the most of my lectures. I just find it frustrating that I'm expected to have the latest gadgets :/

    While I'm not going to rush out and get a new phone, I can certainly check out some phone shops and compare makes/models/contracts since I've got a couple of weeks before the real lectures start. And I'm definitely going to ask someone if there's any way I can keep my current phone or get some help towards the costs - my main concern with that though is that I probably won't qualify for 'financial difficulty' or whatever box they tick, and I'll be told I have to pay myself even though I don't want a replacement.

    Anyway, we'll see. And there's some other helpful suggestions on here that I could also try, so thanks everyone!
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    It seems a bit OTT to require you to have a smartphone, but to be honest most people at uni do have one - so it's definitely not out of order for them to use the tools.

    Asda have some cheap Android phones for around £40 or less if you're on a budget. Might be worth waiting to see if you actually need it at uni and that it's not an arbitrary requirement.
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    (Original post by Roving Fish)
    It seems a bit OTT to require you to have a smartphone, but to be honest most people at uni do have one - so it's definitely not out of order for them to use the tools.

    Asda have some cheap Android phones for around £40 or less if you're on a budget. Might be worth waiting to see if you actually need it at uni and that it's not an arbitrary requirement.
    It's not out of order for them to use those tools, however to only provide access to those tools to students who have smart phones is out of order. There should be an alternative for students who do not have a smartphone and/or cannot afford to purchase one.
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    I'd definitely wait and see before shelling out on anything as this just seems like a gimmick to me. Maybe have a look around to see what you would get if it really is necessary but wait it out because you'll only be frustrated if it turns out they've made you buy something unnecessary.

    [edit]From what I can see on their IT Services site they only mention two apps: iManchester which is definitely non-essential and can be accessed via a web url from any device, and Blackboard which you can sign in to from any device as well.
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    (Original post by GoingToBurst)
    It's not out of order for them to use those tools, however to only provide access to those tools to students who have smart phones is out of order. There should be an alternative for students who do not have a smartphone and/or cannot afford to purchase one.
    I would assume that there are online versions of the tool. I don't know enough about the uni's tools other than for places who use Blackboard (probably the biggest and most well known) then it's available on web and mobile.

    Working in a university, it definitely would be taken under consideration before getting the stamp of approval...
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    which software is it that you need access to on your phone?
    Nothing in my university requires specifically a phone to access with the exception of a surveying app but this allows you to text to the service so you avoiding absolutely needing a smartphone specifically.
    I've seen basic androids on offer for £10 a month on some providers so if its a must have there's cheap options out there for you.
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    (Original post by Roving Fish)
    I would assume that there are online versions of the tool. I don't know enough about the uni's tools other than for places who use Blackboard (probably the biggest and most well known) then it's available on web and mobile.

    Working in a university, it definitely would be taken under consideration before getting the stamp of approval...
    Yeah I would assume so too, but it didn't seem that way from what was said in the thread.

    There have been plenty of things that my university have introduced (or attempted to introduce) that don't seem to have had any thought behind them, so it doesn't sound impossible to me that this could happen elsewhere too haha!
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    (Original post by GoingToBurst)
    Yeah I would assume so too, but it didn't seem that way from what was said in the thread.

    There have been plenty of things that my university have introduced (or attempted to introduce) that don't seem to have had any thought behind them, so it doesn't sound impossible to me that this could happen elsewhere too haha!
    It's definitely offering advice based on the general theme of the thread and not what OP says specifically. Many people will read university advice and take it as absolute bible or perhaps misread it. We find this a lot on TSR.
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    Nokia 3310. Phone/weapon. No person is stupid enough to mess with you.
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    (Original post by glittergem)
    I'd heard from one or two people that their university required them to have a smartphone or tablet, then the emails/webpages I was sent by mine confirmed that I, too, would be taking part in BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Frankly, I think this is a terrible idea.

    While my family aren't exactly on the breadline, we (myself included) see the new smartphone models that come out every year as an unecessary expense. I have a Samsung Galaxy something-or-other I bought a year and a half ago, and it cost me £80; I resent being charged over £100 for a phone. (I hate them. They're invasive and horribly expensive to keep running.) It runs on Android 4.1.2 (jellybean) but apparently the minimum I need for the apps we'll be using is 4.2.0. I hate my phone but so long as it's still working, I see no need to replace it! Until now.

    What are people supposed to do if they can't fork out upwards of £30 a month (not including insurance) for a pocket gadget that is easily damaged, lost or stolen? Why wasn't I informed of this weeks ago so I could look into buying a new phone right for me, and factor it into my budget? I'm already stressing out about starting uni, this is the last thing I need right now. I'm worried I won't be able to partake in my sessions properly.

    tl;dr What I wanted to ask is what can I do about this? Is there a way to upgrade my phone's OS, or will I need a new phone altogether? Will the university provide me with one/money towards it, or will it have to come out of my own pocket? (I'm starting at University of Manchester btw.) It's a pretty big assumption that everybody can put money aside for these things.

    I'm so upset and angry. Why does it have to be so complicated? Thanks for any help you can give me xxx
    If this is what I think it is, then it might not be something to worry about. Something we tried last semester in lectures was, when showing multiple choice quiz items (not an exam, just a revision exercise), was an app which students can download and put their answer - then our app shows us how many people put each answer. When in a computer class, people can also use a website version of it if they didn't have apps on their phone.

    It's an experimental alternative to the lecturer carrying 50+ 'button boxes' (mini remotes) across campus and handing them out (which takes longer than you'd expect).

    Whether it's that or something different, they can't make you buy a suitable device, and they can't use those types of things in exams/assessments - it would only be a class activity, which you should be able to join in individually anyway (e.g. keep track of your answers on a piece of paper if you want instead).
 
 
 

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