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Making BYOD Work in Schools – Three School Districts That Have Figured it Out
Posted By K. Walsh On December 16, 2012 @ 9:50 am In Administrative Solutions,Future of Education Technology,iPads and Other Tablet Devices,Making the case for Education Technologies,_ Miscellaneous Tools and Topics | 53 Comments
Since I wrote the controversial post, “5 Reasons Why BYOD is a Bad Idea” over the summer, and received such strong push back the concerns I noted, I’ve been looking forward to learning about sharing ways in which schools have addressed some of these potential issues. This week, guest writer Caroline Ross introduces us to several schools that have tackled these challenges.
In an effort to bring 21st century technology into the classroom despite continuous budget cuts, some school administrators have adopted district-wide “Bring your Own Device” (BYOD) initiatives and programs. Like the name suggests, BYOD programs allow students to bring their own tablets, smartphones, and laptops from home into the classroom for educational use.
It seems like a lucrative idea, especially for schools that can’t afford to supply each student with a shiny new tablet or e-reader, but that doesn’t mean the concept hasn’t met its fair share of criticism . Some experts have been quick to call out BYOD flaws and even speculate that BYOD programs aren’t a long-term solution. Whether that’s the case is yet to be determined, but there have been some successful BYOD implementations. Below are some school districts that have taken the time to prepare for the challenges that BYOD programs can bring and address them proactively.
Oak Hills Local School District
Similar to Allen Independent School District in Texas, Oak Hills Local School District  in Ohio developed this robust “BYOD framework ” and set up a strict acceptable use policy before it launched its BYOD initiative in 2010. The policy states very clearly that violators will get their device privileges revoked. In addition, the district has made sure to document the initiative’s progress on its blog. To date, the BYOD initiative and its digital desktop system (which can be accessed by any device) has saved the district $1.27 million.
Oak Hill’s BYOD Framework consists of 10 structured implementation and support steps that they have documented and shared on the web, for other schools to leverage:
This is a powerful framework offering a great overview and important insights into how to be prepared to make BYOD work in your school, and administrators everywhere can be thankful for the effort Oak Hills has taken to share their experiences and lessons learned!
Allen Independent School District
Last year Allen Independent School District in Texas  began allowing its high school students and staff to bring their own devices to school. Although distractions and access to improper material was a huge concern, administrators decided to address the problem by requiring students to sign an Acceptable Use Policy for Technology waiver and requiring students to connect through the school’s wireless network so that browsing can be monitored. In addition, students can only use their devices during approved times set by teachers and students are not allowed to use class time to troubleshoot tech problems. This thorough “BYOD Students, Teachers, and Parent Guide ” explains many aspects of their policy and approach.
Katy Independent School District
In 2009, Texas’ Katy Independent School District  began experimenting with smartphones in the classroom. In this article , we learn how KISD passed out 125 HTC smartphones to fifth graders at a single school that year, but not before making a few changes—calling and texting features were shut off and smartphones were officially referred to as “mobile learning devices.” After seeing an increase in engagement, the district decided to expand its experiment and offer a BYOD program to all grade levels. Because the district understands that not all families can afford devices however, students are encouraged to work in teams so that devices can be shared.
These are just three of the many school districts across that US that have initiated BYOD programs and are figuring out how to iron out the kinks, and how to avoid many of them from the onset. While there are certainly some key issues that can arise, clearly informed planning and proactive measures can curtail the problems and set districts up for successful programs.
Caroline Ross is a regular contributor to AccreditedOnlineUniversities.com , a website that specializes in alternative learning and technology.
Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):
Why Every Student Should Be In a 1:1 Classroom 
School Administrators as Leaders of iPad Implementation Programs 
ThinkWave – Bringing Key Elements of Administrative and Instructional Technologies Together to Facilitate Teaching
Article printed from Emerging Education Technology: http://www.emergingedtech.com
URL to article: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/12/making-byod-work-in-schools/
URLs in this post:
 criticism: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/07/5-reasons-why-byod-is-a-bad-idea
 Oak Hills Local School District: http://ohlsd.org/
 BYOD framework: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/topics/byod
 Step 1: Community Engagement: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-community-engagement/
 Step 2: Develop a Team:: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-develop-a-team/
 Step 3: Developing the Physical Infrastructure: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/3-physical-infrastructure/
 Step 4: Developing the Tools (Software Infrastructure) (KEY!): http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-developing-the-tools/
 Step 5: Developing a Portal: : http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-developing-a-portal/
 Step 6: Developing an Acceptable Use Policy:: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-developing-an-acceptable-use-policy/
 Step 7: Building your Curriculum:: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-building-your-curriculum/
 Step 8: Considering Devices:: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-considering-devices/
 Step 9: Monitoring Usage:: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-monitoring-usage/
 Q & A: http://ohlsd.org/portfolio/byod-questions-and-answers/
 Allen Independent School District in Texas: http://www.allenisd.org
 BYOD Students, Teachers, and Parent Guide: http://www.allenisd.org/cms/lib/TX01001197/Centricity/Domain/2117/BYODLFC2011-2012%20school%20year.pdf
 Katy Independent School District: http://www.katyisd.org
 In this article: http://www.zdnet.com/blog/sap/how-this-school-district-turned-its-students-love-of-mobile-into-better-learning-test-scores/3426
 AccreditedOnlineUniversities.com: http://www.accreditedonlineuniversities.com/
 Why Every Student Should Be In a 1:1 Classroom: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/04/why-every-student-should-be-in-a-11-classroom/
 School Administrators as Leaders of iPad Implementation Programs: http://www.emergingedtech.com/2012/04/school-administrators-as-leaders-of-ipad-implementation-programs/
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 K. Walsh: http://www.emergingedtech.com/author/admin/
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