In the first half of this series, we focused on how digital textbooks increase learning while reducing costs, the benefits of the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) for both the online-based and traditional classroom, and Internet connectivity on- and off-campus. The fourth part of this series focuses on specialized software in the education sphere, with a focus on the BYOD movement. Bring your own device (BYOD), also known as bring your own technology (BYOT), bring your own phone (BYOP), and bring your own PC (BYOPC), refers to the practice of allowing employees or students to bring personal devices to their place of employment or education, and to use these devices to access privileged information (Source: Wikipedia). As an industry, education has the highest percentage of people using BYOD, at 92.5% (Source: Cisco partners).fellow-smartphone-tablet-240 As discussed in part three of this series, today’s student has a myriad of devices at his fingertips: smartphone, laptop, tablet, computer. The majority of students use WiFi to access the secure network on-campus, and log-in at home to other portals particular to the education experience: school e-mail, student intranet, VLE, and more. There has been one downside to the BYOD movement: specialized programmes that are installed on a device, typically in the computer lab. As previously discussed, computer labs often have a very specialised purpose; for example, the University of California Los Angeles has labs for linguistics, psychology, computer programming, and more. In the linguistics laboratory, a student can then have access to special software, such as software for recording, editing, speech synthesis, and more. Traditional accessibility technology has also been device-dependent. For example, programs specially designed to assist students with reading and writing were installed on a particular device, and students had to visit the disabilities resource center to use this program. All of these specialised software programs require a per-device license that often comes with a considerable price tag. The prevalence of devices and the need of students to be able to access necessary software at all times, device-independently, has led to an emergence of two types of software: open-source and cloud-based. Open-source software is free to download and can be implemented on all one’s devices, if desired. No longer is the linguistics student limited to the computer lab to examine and modify spectrograms from recordings. Instead, the student can download any one of the open source software programs available and have a look at the spectrograms on his own device. While open-source software is by no means available for all the specialised software available in different fields, what is available can be a great help to students. Cloud-based software is, as the name suggests, software that is based in the cloud, and therefore not on a particular device. Also known as Software as a Service (SaaS), web-based software is accessed by users not as a purchased product, but as a service (Source: Bell). Users can therefore access the software anytime, anywhere, so long as an Internet connection is available. The benefits of this in education are enormous: no longer are students limited to software resources during the opening hours of the computer lab, but instead, can access whatever software they need exactly when they need it. ReadSpeaker is a great example of Software as a Service. ReadSpeaker’s products are web-based and device-independent, available to any user at any time. ReadSpeaker Enterprise, when installed on websites, does not require a username and can be accessed by anyone visiting the website. In contrast, ReadSpeaker TextAid, our literacy support product, requires each user to have log-in details. The user can then log-in and use TextAid on any device, absolutely perfect for students and anyone struggling with reading and writing. Open-source software and Software as a Service have certainly been a big boost for the BYOD movement. In the future, more and more software is expected to turn from computer-based to web-based, increasing accessibility of the software to its users. This is the fourth part of our series: How the Digital Revolution is Reshaping Education. [enhancing_learning]