Just the mention of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) can garner both positive and negative perceptions. For starters, allowing students to bring their own devices into the classroom means that IT departments have a larger number of devices and device types to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.
Furthermore, there’s often concerns around setting up and managing the network infrastructure and maintaining network safety as more devices get turned on. If you are a bit uneasy about BYOD at your school, consider these quick tips to put your mind at ease.
Develop your story
Answer as many of the questions that everyone will ask up front so you save your team precious time in the long run. Explain why the option makes sense for your school or district and define the benefits upfront.
Consider the objections
Before your BYOD initiative gets approved, you will need to get sign off from your board, but you also will need support from teachers and parents. Think of any objections from both groups and address them immediately.
Outline device parameters
Make a list of device requirements that will, or will not, be allowed. Think about things like Wi-Fi and other connectivity options.
Adjust your policies
With a new device program, your acceptable use and other policies likely will need to be updated. Once they’re revised, be sure to distribute them and incorporate a plan to enforce them on an ongoing basis.
Design your support structure
Your existing support structure also will likely need some adjustments. Identify what those are as soon as possible and make changes accordingly. Include support options as any boundaries that your team will set for working on personal devices.
Support the teachers
The teachers will play a huge role in a successful rollout. Work with them to be confident in the BYOD program as well as the support structure so they can focus on improving the learning environment.
Consider an equity plan
There will be some students who don’t own a device for the BYOD program. Have a plan that allows those students to use school-supplied devices.
BYOD means anything goes. Students will come through the doors with a variety of different devices. If your platform is not compatible with them, you risk interrupting student learning.
Face the facts
No matter how much you plan and prepare, there’s always room for some surprise. Keep this in mind as you rollout your BYOD program.