From the category archives: Bring Your Own Device
Bring Your Own Device
Part 4 of a 5 Part Series
The first steps in designing a BYOD (or even a 1 to 1) strategy should include looking at what pieces of your curriculum are currently delivered digitally, what your teachers have requested to add to their curriculum, what you have found as a district that you would like to implement, and what other districts are using in their classes.
Forming a technology committee is also a good first step in understanding what the curriculum currently offers and what can be added to enhance the quality and depth of what your district is providing. Getting varied opinions on what is out there can help in designing the future goals for the teachers and technology staff. This includes choosing digital content that works with a wide variety of devices so there is a minimum of restrictions in the list of allowed devices at your district. Does the service work on an iPad as well as an Android tablet? Is the App available on all platforms? These all need considered when choosing content.
Another important first step is including in your strategic plan a method of managing both district devices as well as consumer devices so that both have the same experience. If you are using apps, how will they be delivered to the consumer device?
The final first step involves your district policy. Has it been updated to include the level of rights a district has on a consumer device if it is used on the school premises? It has to be well defined what rights the IT staff and teachers have (or don’t have) on the device so there is no confusion when the device doesn’t function properly or needs an application installed. In the cases of laptops and netbooks, does the device have the latest anti-virus? Can the district IT staff install another browser?
Read Part 1 of this BYOD series here.
Read Part 2 of this BYOD series here.
Read Part 3 of this BYOD series here.
Part 3 of a 5 Part Series
For everyone that came to our Heinz Field event on BYOD, this article just repeats part of the key message at the conference. It was such an important point, I thought I would dedicate this blog article to that.
Some of the first questions you need to ask yourself when discussing BYOD revolve around WHY?
Why are we adopting BYOD in our district?
- Do we have a curriculum model that supports or encourages BYOD?
- What happens to that curriculum model if something is not working?
- How do we handle students that do not have a device to use?
If the answer to any of these questions is “I don’t know”, then you may not be ready for BYOD. Just adopting BYOD is not enough, there has to be a reason for you to do it, and that reason needs to be viable enough to justify the cost and overhead of supporting consumer devices.
Supporting BYOD is a multi-stage process, and the very first step is understanding why you need or want to support it. This decision itself can be difficult if technology has not played a major role in your existing curriculum, so you may want to discuss it with other districts that are already doing BYOD (or have adopted a one to one or one to two initiative), with your teachers and curriculum coordinator, and even with Questeq to get ideas of what you can provide to the students. The justification to adopt BYOD should not be to just say you have it, but should be why you need to support it.
Read Part 1 of this BYOD series here
Read Part 2 of this BYOD series here
Questeq had the opportunity to co-sponsor a BYOD event with Enterasys and HP at Heinz Field last week. The event, held on 1/24/13, focused on the challenges, considerations and benefits of implementing a BYOD environment into K-12 teaching and learning. Our CEO, Jeff Main, as well as Jonathan Kidwell, Director of K-12 North America for Enterasys, gave presentations on current K-12 BYOD and Mobility trends. In addition to these presentations, networking opportunities and demos, each attendee had the opportunity to tour the stadium and Steelers locker room.
Nearly 50 school leaders from Pennsylvania and Ohio were able to participate in this unique event. Many valuable conversations were started among the attendees and our team members that we hope will continue for many weeks to come.
If are considering implementing BYOD in your district, please visit the following page for a compilation of useful resources.
Click the photo below to view our event photos on Facebook.
Online classroom management and e-Learning tools have been around for several years. These tools have become more popular and accessible in K-12 classrooms due to BYOD and 1-to-1 programs being implemented in schools across the country. Take a look at these online programs if your school doesn’t currently provide an easy way to connect and communicate with your students. All of these programs are currently free and provide a rich set of collaborative tools for your classroom.
Edmodo - http://www.edmodo.com
Edmodo has been around since 2008 and has continued to evolve and change with the needs of teachers and learners. The online learning platform has enabled over 15,000,000 learners to connect within their school walls and globally. Schools or individual teachers can sign up for free access to Edmodo.
Edmodo features list (partial):
- Classroom calendar
- Google Docs integration
- Assignments and homework submission
- Quizzes, Gradebook
- Post moderation
- Student & teacher file storage
In addition to the many features Edmodo has to offer, they also have a mobile version of the website in addition to an iPhone and Android app.
Common Sense Media and Edmodo have released a Digital Citizenship Starter Kit that aligns with Common Sense Media’s Digital Citizenship curriculum. This collaboration is a great benefit to using Edmodo as your e-learning platform.
Collaborize Classroom - http://www.collaborizeclassroom.com
SimpleK12, a wonderful community and resource for K-12 teachers, has developed and released the Collaborize Classroom platform for teachers.
Collaborize Classroom Features List (partial):
- Classroom discussions (forums, voting)
- Participation reports
- Topic library for resource sharing with other teachers
In addition to these features, a free or pro (.99) app is available on the iTunes store for iPad and iPhone.
EDU 2.0 - http://www.edu20.org
EDU 2.0 is an e-learning platform designed for entire schools. Unlike the other tools shared, EDU 2.0 encourages schools to register instead of individual teachers. If you are a school or district administrator take a look at this tool as an alternative to Moodle or more costly solutions.
EDU 2.0 Free Plan Features List (partial):
- Unlimited teacher accounts
- Up to 2000 student accounts
- Customizable portal
- Classes, lessons, resources
- Five types of assignments
- Quizzes and question banks
- Collaboration tools
- Parent accounts
- Unlimited storage
ClassDojo - http://www.classdojo.com
ClassDojo is a behavior management tool instead of an e-learning platform. Check out ClassDojo if you are looking for a fun and engaging way to monitor, track and improve student behavior. This tool features a mobile friendly version.
ClassDojo is a classroom tool that helps teachers improve behavior in their classrooms quickly and easily. It also captures and generates data on behavior that teachers can share with parents and administrators.
Do you have any other e-learning platforms or classroom management tools to share? Please let us know in the comments!