Here we B.Y.GO again… ;)

Over the years I have been fortunate enough to assist the schools I have worked in to implement and embed a succinct and successful BYOD framework for effective technology adoption.

It is no secret to most of us that the BYOD model has certainly had huge implications in educational organisations across the globe with the simple aim of getting more technology in to schools more often. Technology, regardless of it’s type and structure, to complement, enhance, and foster student growth and deep learning opportunities.

The impact that technology adoption, in particular 1:1 adoption, has had, I believe, has had just as great an effect on teaching and pedagogy as it has had on student learning. When I think about that pedagogical shift, that for me is really exciting. It is a massive positive knowing that educators who are either embracing and/or simply ‘giving it a go’, albeit in some cases reluctantly, are changing their instructional practices for the betterment of themselves and their students, and that is a remarkable thing.

Over the years I have learnt quite a few things about BYOD. What works, what does not, where the pitfalls potentially lie, how to assist (and hopefully relieve) the anxiety the parents and wider community, and also how to make a BYOD program successful.

I will add here that these are my experiences and dealings and what I have found to ring true. Others may have had different opinions, feelings and or experiences, and that is fine. 

What I am personally pleased with it that my beliefs towards integrating a successful BYO program have not changed all that much from roughly 9 years ago. What was needed to be in place then, still needs to be in place now. I have over the years read and seen quite a lot in this space and at the end of the day, you do not need ‘21 successful tips towards BYOD‘, or, ‘BYOD, 45,721 points for successful integration‘, or anything in between.

Here I have shared my key tips, points, notes, ‘things’, whatever you would like to call them, that have assisted and driven myself towards leading and implementing BYOD frameworks. As usual, comments welcome.

1 – Plan. Effectively!

Pretty straight forward, no? How many of us have been given a plan, or developed a plan, and not stuck to it, have had no faith in it, skipped over it entirely, etc, etc… Plan for what you want to achieve. What is it after super successfully implementing your BYOD program that you are wanting to see? That’s your end game. Backwards map from there! What do you need to have in place for that to come to fruition?

2 – Scout’s Motto: Be Prepared.

Identify what you need. Is it building teacher capacity? Is it improving your infrastructure? Are parents and other key stakeholders ready for BYOD? Make a list, check it twice. Thrice even! 😉 Make sure you know what you want, where you can get it from, who can help and assist, and act accordingly.

3 – Documentation – Get It Sorted.

What documents do you need to have in place? What policies do you currently have. What do you not? What needs to be re-ratified? What do students, parents, the community need? What do staff need? How indepth will go you? Will it be surface based information or a full out assault with all documents being highly detailed and specific? In my experiences, the following items are MUST HAVES to be created and or put in place.

  • Policies
    • BYOD
    • Acceptable Internet Use
    • Cyber Bullying, Cyber Safety, Digital Citizenship, etc… 
  • Digital Technologies Acceptable Use Agreements, for all students, not just those involved in BYOD.
  • An Action Plan. Identify what is needed and where, and also why! This is usually developed at the beginning. 
  • BYOD Guide / Booklet for Parents and the wider community. 
    • This may include the rationale and aims of the BYOD program, why this program
  • Formal Letters to keep all stakeholders in the loop. TRANSPARENCY is key! Ensure that all decisions that are made involve those affected (parents, students, IT personale, teachers, leaders, etc…).

4 – Keep Calm and Relax.

Like any change, large or small, rushing the process only ever is a cause for errors and mishaps and things to be forgotten and overlooked. Just relax. make sure that those who are driving and developing the program are comfortable with what is being done. It is far better to upset others because you are postponing things or redeveloping specific rather than rushing to get things done and make errors along the way. Trust me! 😉

5 – You’re Not Alone.  

Chances are, I can almost guarantee it, well, i can guarantee it, that there are other people and education settings out there that have been through this process before. If for whatever reasons you may be doubting or unsure of the path you are following, seek assistance. Go and speak to others, complete a number of school visits and speak to those in the know. And do not forget one of the most important groups to speak to… students!

6 – Share the Load. 

Yes, there is often a ‘lone soldier’ who is the front man of the BYOD program and the go to person for all questions, concerns and queries, however, it truly takes a team of people to effectively get a BYOD program up and running. The people involved need to communicate and meet regularly to identify based on the developed action plan, what needs to be done.

So that is that. In a nutshell. Over the coming weeks I will share our current documentation and other key resources that have supported me over time and if you and your setting are going down a BYOD path, hopefully items that will support you also!

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