This post follows on from my previous post where I sought feedback from schools worldwide who were already using BYOD. I would like to thank Michele Botha and Nick Saucers in particular for their very detailed and informative responses which have significantly informed the content this post (you can listen to Nick’s response via the comments section of my previous post) .

Before introducing BYOD

Step one:
Establish the purpose

Be clear why you wish to introduce BYOD. What changes are you seeking to bring about? Is it to enable, for example:
. greater engagement from the pupils in lessons?
. pupils to work at a higher level of Bloom’s taxonomy?
. greater creativity, or independence and/or collaboration?
. or? . . .

Step two:
Preparation – technical and safety

. Make sure you have sufficient WiFi capacity and coverage throughout the school for the number of devices that will be connecting
. Address security levels needed and cover e-Safety issues and input needed before implementation. The security levels need to be more robust/extra layer beyond the firewall as adding in significantly more devices, with different settings and multi entry points to the school’s system. Pupils must know how to use devices responsibly, appropriately and without putting themselves in danger
. Set up a different network for different user groups
. ensure you have the funding to cover the preparation and support from the decision makers for sufficient on-going budget funding to support ICT updates and technical support

Step three:
Preparation – staff

. Make sure that all staff have the necessary skills/an identified group of core competencies. All staff can use and are familiar with ‘x’/’y’/’z’ . . . could be e.g. google docs. or google Apps; they will be cloud based tools
. establish common language, using a learning management system such as e.g. Edmodo or Edcanvas

Step four:
Preparation – pupils and parents

. Engage pupils and parents in pre-discussions and run an information evening for parents

Step 5:
Pilot/trial

. Run a trial with a defined group of pupils (they will need to have a defined set of basic core ICT skills). Participation optional (NB schools have found very high percentages of pupils have suitable devices already and some will acquire a device at Christmas, or a birthday, or when a parent ‘upgrades’ their device/s, when parents know their children would benefit by having one. With primary aged pupils feedback supports little ‘tech envy’ and a willingness to work with others/share their device)
. Set perimeters and publish guidelines for devices e.g. minimum spec. for security and safety protection settings, screen size, keyboard or not needed, processing speed, battery use without re-charging etc. Make clear what the school system can and cannot support. N.B. do not suggest specific devices as new models are being introduced all the time. Also, feedback suggests laptops, or similar spec. of a smaller size, are proving to have greater functionality than iPads – great thought needs to be given to this area before making decisions
. Parents to fund the purchase and maintenance of devices, plus insure the device against damage and loss
. Parents and pupils to sign an acceptable users policy or similar
. School to ensure suitable and safe storage of devices (e.g. lock classroom or lockable pupil lockers)

Step 6:
Implementation across chosen groups/year groups

. Address accessibility for all – provision for those without devices, can they borrow or hire from the Media Centre/Library? For homework, if pupils have no Internet access at home could they access in the Media Centre/Library? Or would you provide a google map pin pointing access points in the local community?
. In parallel with implementation add in additional e-Safety input/digital citizenship skills. You could consider the Digital Drivers’ Licence

step 7:
On-going training and development

. Have a tiered ICT CPD programme for staff. Staff will have different levels of competencies and will need to develop from different starting points. Give them options; to work through defined skills/competencies on their own or to attend school run training sessions
. Use your Digital Leaders (or equivalent, i.e. pupils that support ICT development and cascading skills etc) to assist peers and to run INSET for staff and parents

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