In many schools it may have already happened, but this autumn, we predict a revolution-of-sorts to take place: Bring Your Own Device.
BYOD isn’t a ground-breaking idea. For those who are new to the term, it means allowing pupils to use their own tablet device, or smartphone, in the classroom. Not to text their friends, or to watch the Gangnam Style video, but to access learning – and, ultimately, to engage them more with any given subject.
If, like many schools, you’re planning to experiment with BYOD this autumn, we’ve listed five steps to get you started.
Understand How BYOD Works And Why
There’s no use implementing BYOD if you don’t know how or why it will work – or what you want to get out of it. Using tablet computers and smartphones means pupils learn on devices they’re familiar with, enjoy using and probably know their way around better than many adults. In the best cases of devices being used in the classroom, smartphones and tablets become part of the learning ‘landscape’ as opposed to a distraction from it.
Do A Straw Poll In Your Class
While you may want to use the rest of the school holidays to cover our first and third points here, the second point is for when you get back to school. Depending on whether you are a primary or secondary, your class may not all possess a smartphone or tablet computer – or both. Obviously, if there are a number of pupils without, your school may need to look at investing in a bulk order of tablet devices. An increasing number of schools are doing this, and it doesn’t have to be expensive: Devices like the Learnpad can be purchased relatively cheaply – and you may get a better deal the more units you order.
Take A Look At Educational Apps Available
There are many great educational apps out there and we have looked at a number of them previously, including five educational apps for a rainy day and ten Geography apps for the classroom. Some of the more adventurous apps allow children to create animations, collaborate on projects and even author e-books. Of course, smartphones and tablet devices can also be used simply to take notes or complete tests.
Plan A Trial BYOD Day
Book in a set day to try out devices in the classroom. It may be worth contacting parents in advance – and remember that allowing phones and tablet computers into the classroom may go completely against traditional school rules, so be careful how you proposition the idea to parents and pupils. It may be worth setting out guidelines around when and where your class can use devices in school. The great benefit of BYOD is that your class will take their devices home with them – which could encourage them to carry on working long after they’ve left school for the day. Once you have set up and trialled a BYOD day, review how it went and see how much work was done outside of the class by your pupils.
Also, make sure you track how much work is done in class – despite devices in class making learning more exciting, there will still be the temptation to text, tweet, play Angry Birds and the like.
Develop User Generated Content
An increasingly popular trend in the workplace is encouraging learners to create their own content for learning systems – so it makes sense to get students started at secondary school. It will get them thinking differently about their work – and outside of the box, too. Take a look at this blog post to see how this has been done at Boise State University.
For more advice, information and tips regarding BYOD, look out for our forthcoming white paper.
Are you thinking of implementing Bring Your Own Device at your school? Have you tried it already with good results? Let us know by leaving a message below!