The Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)/Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) movement has picked up some major steam the past few months at schools and districts facing technology budget limitations. The advantages may seem clear to those guarding the bottom line, but instituting a BYOD/BYOT policy is no easy task and can require a lot of convincing and preparation.
Fear of the BYOD unknown
Schools or districts that propose using a BYOD/BYOT policy obviously understand the digital learning possibilities and budgetary implications of letting students bring their personal electronic devices to school, but the policies can also elicit some very valid points of skepticism from the educators and administrators on the front lines.
For years and years, our school systems have been centered on only allowing students to use school-provided technology when within the school walls. The prospect of flipping that notion and telling students to learn using their own tablet, smartphones, and laptops may have your peers, or even you, asking questions like:
How do we keep students from using these devices to text, goof off, or do non-school related things?
What about all the professional development this policy is going to require?
Wont kids with older devices be bullied? or Wont those students be at a disadvantage?
How are we going to keep kids from cheating via text or e-mail?
BYOP (Bring Your Own Preparation)
To soundly answer these legitimate questions (and the many more that will arise), schools/districts adopting a BYOD/BYOT policy must be very thorough in their own technology preparations and educational content choices.
- Each school must maintain easily accessible, high-bandwidth guest Wi-Fi routers so that students without personal access to wireless data are not at a disadvantage
- The school-provided educational apps and/or content should offer full, real-time access to a students daily progress so that teachers can check student status and progression
- The adopted content/apps should function with equality and equity on all devices (i.e. no learning advantages for having a newer or faster device)
- The school/district must develop a transparent campaign that communicates the advantages and expectations of the policy and how the policy will be administered to all stakeholders (student, teachers, parents, etc)
- The schools/district must ensure the needed professional development and support will be provided to its teachers and staff
Looking beyond the budgetary benefits of BYOD/BYOT
As you can see, moving towards a BYOD/BYOT policy is no walk-in-the-park, but many teachers and administrators who have gone through the journey are quick to note the benefits are well worth the initial hard work.
Students are more attentive, engaged, and better behaved because they are excited about the prospect of using their own device
Students have the ability to easily access their school work and content from any location with internet access, including school and home
BYOD offers more access to school-owned technology for students who cannot bring their own devices
Click here to learn more about utilizing your school's BYOD policy as a key piece of an effective Blended Learning environment. Also, be sure to check out the button below for a great offer from Wowzers!