Let’s take a look at why this has become such as popular option by many schools across the country and the world.
Why is there an interest?
Due to the cost of purchasing, updating and maintenance, allowing students to bring in their own technology helps to alleviate the financial pressure on schools.
What is happening in schools?
At many schools there is a limited amount of resources, minimal student access to 1:1 technology, stretched budgets and teachers not able to teach the Digital Technologies Curriculum to its full potential.
Who is being affected?
Teachers who are limited in their planning due to device availability and professional knowledge, students who have minimal exposure to up-to-date technology, school budgets and on-site technicians constantly solving problems with aging equipment such as broken screens and keyboards, replacing batteries, fixing student server access, etc...
If you have identified with the above statements, then maybe BYOD is for you!
My recommendations for implementing BYOD in your school are:
Staff Feedback – survey staff (anonymously if need be) on how they use technology as a teaching and learning tool, including their knowledge of the Digital Technologies Curriculum.
Student Feedback – What devices do students regularly use at home and how? How would they like to use technology at school?
Choose a device – This is an important one! Selecting one device with requirements such as storage capacity and protective cases, is important for consistency. I will use iPads for this example: There will only be the need for a single network for wi-fi connectivity, consistent access to the same apps, professional development for teachers on the devices and apps, reduced risk of malware that can be brought into school via shared drives and teachers do not need to have a high knowledge of different devices such as PC, MacBook, iPad or Android.
Discuss with School Council – in particular the Education Committee and how it will help meet your Annual Implemen-tation Plan targets and improve student learning, engagement and data.
Choose a year level – such as Grade 5/6 and give plenty of notice, at least one term, before bringing in devices.
Update – all school technology policies and user agreements.
During the first term of implementation – choose one or two days per week for students to bring their device as a transition period for students, parents and teachers, before requiring students to bring them each day.
Ensure all iPads are labelled – check they have cases and do not allow students to charge their devices at school, they must be charged at home which will minimise overloading at power points and encourage organisation and responsibility.
Purchase a small bank of the devices – make them accessible to students whose parents or carers may need more time to purchase a device.