BYOD can be a great way of ensuring your classroom has useable technology whether your district or school is providing it. While there is a lot of grey area in terms of how BYOD can work, many schools and teachers are employing it as their means of getting more technology in their classrooms. (You can see ten great examples of classrooms that have tried out BYOD and how they fared here).
So what are some of the advantages and drawbacks of employing a BYOD program in your school or classroom? The handy infographic below takes a look at what they call ‘the good, the bad, and the ugly, and poses six important questions to ask to ensure that a BYOD program will work well for your institution. While the graphic is geared towards businesses, the same ideas hold true for schools and classrooms.
Questions To Ask
- Who buys the devices? Maybe a blended program would work – like subsidizing – users will treat the device less like a play device than if they have to foot the whole bill themselves.
- What’s the right policy? Make a clear policy, but don’t go overboard. Leave enough selection and operability so that users don’t feel like they’re paying for minimal usability of a device.
- What is the role of the user? Engage and educate teachers and students on how to use the device, don’t ban certain devices for no reason.
- What is the impact for the IT department? Keep the IT department engaged without overwhelming them. Let them find a way to manage the entire device fleet. Don’t abandon all support for devices in the institution just because they are ‘outside’ devices that don’t wholly belong to the school. They’re still being used for school purposes!
- How do we tackle security issues? Protect the school network, but don’t ban things like wifi access or remote access completely – that just hinders users’ ability to have the device help them with their tasks (and probably makes them irritated, too!)
- What about apps? Make a list of suggested/encouraged apps and apps that are not allowed (like apps for jailbroken devices, which may become vectors for malware). Don’t ban things like games, but you can use security settings to help restrict certain types of apps.