As schools aspire to align with modern digital practices, one of the most appealing ideas for many is starting BYOD programs (Bring Your Own Device). It’s a program that encourages students to harness the power of their own personal mobile technologies to enhance their learning experiences. BYOD programs can become very successful if properly implemented and maintained. But how do you get started?
BYOD first caught on in the corporate world, and now over 80% of businesses are on board. Although BYOD in education is common, how it’s implemented and managed is all over the map.
The idea behind successfully starting BYOD programs rests in the old boy scout motto of “Be Prepared.” To help you, we’re going to discuss 10 key things to consider before going ahead with your own BYOD program. As each point is covered, you’ll have the opportunity to consider important questions about where your school is at with BYOD readiness, and where you’d ultimately like to be.
10 Considerations When Starting BYOD Programs
- A Clear Vision: Before you, your school, or your District begin this new venture, you need two things. First, you need to know where you are now; and secondly, you need to know where you want to be. This is where you start with the end in mind.
- A Financial Plan: Funding and other financial considerations are a vital step in starting BYOD programs. Consider who would be the main funders of the program, including parental funding.
- Teaching and Assessment Vision: Any technology infusion in learning should be done in order to improve students’ skills by being aligned with intended learning outcomes. The focus is always on the learning first, and never on the technology.
- A Global Digital Citizenship Program: A successful BYOD environment includes a strategy to address the crucial aspects of what it means to be a Global Digital Citizen. This kind of program goes far beyond offering basic acceptable use agreements and establishing simple guidelines.
- Network & Support: As the surge of technology increases in the BYOD classroom or school, so will the need for an updated network with reliable Internet access. Ongoing support is another key consideration for a new infrastructure since your school network will need to be maintained.
- Security & Protection: Students will be using the Internet to do research, stream video, and download resources for their various projects. You’ll need adequate security measures along with protection for data and stored information.
- Rethinking the Environment: You’ve got to look at the structural, mechanical, and electrical capacity of your school and its classrooms. How well would they all work together to support a BYOD initiative?
- Choosing Support Hardware & Software: Equality of access means the possibility that not every student will have their own tech to use. In that case, your school will need to determine if they are able or willing to provide a certain amount of backup hardware choices so that every student can enjoy technology for learning enhancement. In terms of software, you may need universal programs for student and teacher use, along with specific software or apps for certain departments or subjects.
- Training & Professional Development: When it comes to starting BYOD programs, schools will need tech leaders whom others can turn to for guidance and counseling on technology usage. Having a reliable team of people trained in the practices of using and maintaining educational technology will make all the difference in your program.
- Parent Communication: Parents always appreciate being kept appraised of what is happening in their children’s school lives. Many are even interested in getting involved with the school in positive constructive ways. Starting BYOD programs includes establishing direct communication with parents about what the program will entail, and the responsibilities both they and their children have in being a part of its success.
Want More on BYOD?
If you’re looking for more information on starting BYOD programs, we’re offering an expanded version of this article as a downloadable resource. It’s got even more information to help you on your way to making BYOD a smash success in your school.
All the 10 considerations above are covered in even more detail to prepare you for the wonderful challenges of BYOD. Teachers and admins both will find this to be a handy reference guide for what to consider if they are looking at launching a BYOD initiative. This resource will help you to:
- Understand the implications of BYOD
- Anticipate its biggest challenges
- Develop a sustainable BYOD plan
- Save you time and money
Get 10 Things to Consider Before Starting BYOD Programs below, and avoid the pitfalls by learning the most crucial things to know and consider before starting BYOD programs.