BYOD

Week 9

“…it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”-Charles Dickens, Tale of Two Cities.

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We at the middle school level have a very simple, direct policy…students do not use their cell phones during the school day.  Easy to remember and also fun when a random cell phone goes off in class due to those pesky telemarketers.  How funny that even the youth are effected.  However, if you walk across the street to our high school, cell phones are allowed in certain regions of the school, during certain class periods.

So when my little bunny’s cell phone went off in class, I thought to myself, “maybe we are being restrictive to something great.” And alas, my joy when I came across this article by Katie Lepi, “5 Things to Know About the BYOD Trend.”

Take a look at a definition of BYOD
The Wikipedia definition…

Through my research I came across some advantages, challenges and assumptions.

Advantages:

Schools are shifting their focus from prohibiting the use of mobile devices on campus, to embracing BYOD as a way to enhance teaching and learning, improve student engagement, improve operational efficiencies, boost staff productivity, expand collaboration, and expand the capabilities of existing technology infrastructures.

The right BYOD solution enables schools to protect their technology investment by building on what they already have while retaining the flexibility to adapt to new services, solutions, and devices as they emerge.

Challenges:

With students, faculty and staff all using their own devices, IT and school district learners need help with policies, capacity, integration, and device access in order to deliver a superior user experience in a manageable, secure, and cost-effective way.

Questions to ask?

Scalability: How can you accommodate in real time the explosion
of new devices and applications that students and staff want to
use on your networks?

Security: How can you determine who, what, when, where, how,
and how many users and devices access your network?

Manageability: How can you manage users and devices, and
ensure compliance to polices no matter how one is connected or
where they are located on your network?

Simplicity: Is there a way to handle these issues that doesn’t
involve new layers of complexity?

Budget: How can your systems handle these demands while
controlling costs?

Accountability: School systems at all levels are being held to
extremely high standards. It’s critical to show improvements in
student outcomes while justifying all technology purchases in terms
of how they help the educational experience and increase efficiency.

The Assumptions:

Devices: More than three network devices per user will be commonplace within two to three years.
Connectivity: Two out of three new network devices attaching to your network in the next two to five years will be wireless only.
Provisioning: Personal devices will need to be re-provisioned more frequently (because of personal use) than a device provided by your educational institution.

This BYOD is something to consider.  Granted, as a control freak, it would be immensely difficult knowing how easily distracted young teens can be and how quick they are to maneuver through their phones instead of paying attention to our lesson.  But never say never.

More articles:

How BYOD Fits Into The Insanely Crowded World Of Education Technology

10 Real-World BYOD Classrooms (And Whether It’s Worked Or Not)

BYOD and Education

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