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“Bring Your Own Device” Programs are Increasingly Popular in our Schools. What are the Key Factors in Successful Implementations?

Are you thinking about implementing BYOD in your school? Or have you already done so, and had to overcome some obstacles?

Businesses everywhere have been buzzing about the potential benefits that can be gained from an effective Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) program. Some companies are already seeing results, including greater productivity among the workforce and happier employees who are satisfied to be using devices they are familiar with. While BYOD continues to evolve in the business place, the movement has also been gaining momentum in education.

byod-imageImage Source: Secure Edge Networks Blog

Many schools have 1-to-1 device programs, and requiring students to own a computer has been common on residential college campuses for years. BYOD is a natural extension of these practices. Indeed, more and more high schools and college campuses are “going BYOD”.

It should come as no surprise that 87% of college students consider what an institution offers in technology when choosing a school. There seems to be little stopping the spread of BYOD, and if you are considering, or recently launched, a program it’s helpful to consider successful BYOD policies, and practices for schools.

Ensure Adequate Bandwidth/Capacity

Having potentially thousands of devices connected to the wirelessly can become a real drain on a school’s resources. That’s why every school needs to make sure their infrastructure can handle the major demand that will be placed upon it. The infrastructure doesn’t just need to be capable of supporting the massive workload, it needs to be flexible to handle future growth, and reliable during peak hours of use.

If the Wi-Fi frequently fails or works poorly, students will quickly get frustrated and not only will your help desk by swamped, students will soon stop lugging their devices around, and the programs will ultimately fail.

Clearly Defined Policy

A clearly articulated and easily understood BYOD policy is essential to a successful BYOD program. Here are 11 Sample Education BYOT Policies To Help You Create Your Own (BYOT, with the “T” standing for Technology, is analogous to BYOD).

Clear Communication (with Teachers, Adminstrators, Students, and Parents)

Communication with students in the classroom is of the utmost importance when it comes to BYOD. This is where the teacher needs to clearly explain the rules regarding the use of the students’ devices. The rules may be set by the school, but if the teacher isn’t aware of them, and reinforcing them, they quickly become meaningless. Teachers and administrations need to be able to carefully explain what the ramifications are for breaking or bypassing the rules.

Teachers and Administrators need to be provided professional development so that they understand the potential of BYOD, what it enables them to do, and the rules and policies associated with the program. It also needs to be clear what to do when support is called for. Teachers should not be expected to be master troubleshooters – they are there to teach, not to be distracted by technical issues.

For students in K-12, parents should also be made aware of BYOD policies by way of a permission slip students have to get signed. This should help ease communication about issues when parent-teacher conferences come around.

Supplemental Devices

It’s almost a certainty that students will at some point forget their devices at home. It happens to the best of us. Other cases may exist where students’ devices break or they simply can’t afford to get one. In any of these cases, schools should have an inventory of supplementary devices on hand so students without their own devices won’t be left out of the learning process.

If the same students seem to be forgetting their devices all the time, then it’s time to have a discussion with them about being more responsible, but if the occurrence is rare, having a backup device handy at all times is the perfect plan B. The ramifications for students who regularly forget devices should be clearly outlines in your BYOD policy.

Put Those Devices to use Having Students Create Content!

When it comes to using mobile devices, many students know plenty about how to consume content, but may not have much experience with creating it. If consumption is all they’re doing in the classroom, they are only achieving a fraction of their potential. A successful BYOD classroom program should place more of an emphasis on creation rather than consumption.

With all the capabilities present in today’s technology, it shouldn’t be a stretch to use it to create great content from the students’ own minds. There are plenty of great apps out there for this purpose, even for studying. Some examples of these apps include Flashcard Deluxe or Quizlet, where students take the tools available and create their own materials to study the topics and assignments teachers give to them.

By giving student the chance to create on their own, they will get much more out of the learning process, and your BYOD program will be more successful.

Are you using BYOD in your schools? What works, what doesn’t?

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Making BYOD Work in Schools – Three School Districts That Have Figured it Out
Student Created Content is an Exciting and Inspiring Learning Tool that Teaches Many Skills
Why Every Student Should Be In a 1:1 Classroom

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Kahoot is a Fun Free Game-Based Classroom Response System

by Jessica Marello on July 22, 2014

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Engaging Classroom Tool Encourages Students to Take Ownership of Learning & Move From “Learner to Leader”!

Kahoot! was launched in 2013 as a game-based classroom response system. Easily accessible by any device with a web browser and Internet connection, Kahoot! gives teachers a new and engaging method to test student knowledge and encourage classroom participation. Not only is Kahoot! used by teachers and professors, but by businesses and other users seeking a fun social experience.

Kahoot! utilizes a game-based pedagogy that encourages research and creation in learners, which is then shared by the teacher and learners to their peers. Kahoot!’s game-based system is more entertaining than traditional quiz methods, pulling students together as they attempt to select the most correct answers and end up on the leaderboard. Since its conception, Kahoot! has been used in classrooms around the world by teachers of various grade levels.

Kahoot

Creating an account with Kahoot! is free for all users, whether you are a teacher, student, businessman or simply want to enjoy it socially. The process only takes 30 seconds and only asks for basic profile information:

  • Visit the Kahoot! registration page
  • Select your role as a user
  • Provide your school (if applicable)
  • Enter a username, email and password
  • Select “Create Account”

Your account role is not set in stone – it can be changed by visiting your profile on your Kahoot! homepage. Your role does not change the appearance or function of your Kahoot! account – all users can still create their own Kahoot!s, access another user’s Kahoot! and so on.

Using Kahoot! in the Classroom

Kahoot!’s game-based pedagogy is based around a loop from “learner to leader,” where students are encouraged to become leaders through the research, creation and presentation of their own quizzes. Conducting research on a given topic spurs students to learn and pass on that knowledge to their classmates. The cycle is not only empowering for the students, but fun when carried to completion.

The loop starts when teachers present their own Kahoot! in front of the class and have students answer the questions. The students then work to create their own quizzes about the topic, doing research and learning more about the subject. Once the students create their own Kahoot!, they amp up their leadership skills by playing them back to their classmates. Through the quizzes, teachers are able to assess the student’s knowledge of the topic at hand via the quality of the questions and answer selections.

A great feature of Kahoot! is that it saves results for each quiz that is played. When players join a quiz, they are required to enter a nickname to be identified by; this nickname is listed in the quiz results, along with the answer each player chose and whether they were right or wrong. The recorded scores are saved to the presenter’s Kahoot! profile, where they can be downloaded and saved for the teacher’s personal records. This makes grading via Kahoot! a breeze!

Kahoot!ing Your way to Improved Outcomes and Increased Engagement

When games are used in the classroom, students have the opportunity to learn while having fun. Students feel encouraged to excel because they are playing a game, not simply taking a pen and paper quiz. There is a great video of year 9 students in Eastbourne playing a Kahoot! where a student is very excited to discover if his answer is correct. A celebration ensues by both himself and his classmates, showing how Kahoot! makes learning a more entertaining experience.

David Ceron, a 4th grade writing teacher at Ruben Hinojosa Elementary School, experienced such a huge improvement on his students’ scores that he had to share it with Kahoot!; though he only found out about Kahoot! three weeks before the exam, his scores went from 79% passing the previous year to 88% passing this year. He credits a large part of the increase to Kahoot!, which helped his students enjoy learning before the writing exam.

Kahoot! is not limited to grade school education; Jorick Sheerens’ college class at Mediacollege in Amsterdam showed their love for the game-based response system with laughter and cheers. Students of all ages benefit from using Kahoot! in the classroom. Since most students have easy access to smart devices nowadays – whether owning a smartphone or iPad or using school-distributed devices – Kahoot! makes group learning both simple and enjoyable.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Gamifying the Classroom with Minecraft – the Possibilities are Powerful and Endless!
Socrative – A 21st Century Way to Assess
The Answer Pad – Enhancing Student Engagement in a BYOD or 1 to 1 Environment

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Game-based Social Skills Assessments: Making the Play for Better Emotional Health

July 20, 2014

Gamification and Social Skills Development can Work Hand in Hand to Improve Emotional Well Being and Outcomes Educators and parents are now seeing that games—long thought to be a waste of kids’ time—can be powerful learning tools. Games show promise in improving students’ problem solving skills, learning motivation and engagement, and their test scores. They […]

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July 19, 2014

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How cool is this? Real-World News from Major Publications offered at Different Comprehension Levels for Your Classroom! Have you ever wished there was a way to get current news translated so that students with different reading comprehension levels could understand them? Well, there is, and the basic service is free! Newsela is an innovative and […]

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Getting Students to Engage With Digital Learning Materials – 2 Good Strategies

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Making Sure Students Really Watch, Listen to, or Read Online Learning Content is Often Cited as a Challenge in the Flipped or Blended Classroom “How do I make sure my students will watch the video?” When I discuss flipped teaching and learning with teachers who are just starting to learn about it, after they’ve had […]

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The Annual TLIPAD Conference – “A Conference Like No Other”

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Have you Registered for the 2014 Teaching & Learning iPad Conference yet? Instructional Technologist Vann Lassiter attended the 2012 Teaching & Learning With the iPad Conference and had some pretty wonderful things to say about it. If you are using iPads (whether you have 1 unit or a 1-to-1 program!), at any grade level, you […]

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Education and Instructional Technology Tweet Wrap for the Week of 07-07-14

July 12, 2014

This week’s collection of inspiring, informative, useful, or just plain fun tweets about education and instructional technology articles, resources, etc. (Originally posted on Twitter by @EmergingEdTech over this past week … collected here to share with our blog readers). Another great selection of tools, tips, and observations from across the Web! Among this week’s tweets […]

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5 More Cool Tools to Take Classroom Collaboration to a New Level

July 10, 2014

More Fun Free Tools for Collaborative Classroom Assignments In May, we published the post, 20 Fun Free Tools for Interactive Classroom Collaboration. Given the high level of interest in this topic, today we offer a guest post with 5 more fun tools for collaborating in (and out of) the classroom! The 2014 Gates Foundation report, […]

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July APP ED REVIEW Roundup – Social Studies Apps

July 8, 2014

This Month – Apps That can be Fun in Courses About History, War, Government and Other “Social Studies” Topics! Are you looking to make your social studies classroom come to life? We here at App Ed Review want to support you in making that happen for your students! Each and every app reviewed by us includes 3-5 […]

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