We are preparing to pilot a BYOD Program here at our High School. It is our goal to facilitate the implementation of 1:1 access for our students. This should allow teachers and students to use technology on a full time basis, more ubiquitously, since they won’t have to rely on access to class sets netbooks or laptops, or access to a lab. It will make the use of technology more transparent and authentic. We hope that our current inventory of netbooks and laptops will meet the needs of students not bringing their own devices.
Research has shown that one-to-one programs that bring technology into the classroom:
- increase student engagement
- complement project-based activities
- help increase the quality and quantity of students’ writing
- promote the interpersonal and teamwork skills required for collaborative work
- allow teachers to more easily monitor students’ mastery and application of skills and concepts
- lead to higher overall interaction with classroom material from students
A committee has been researching, discussing and planning the project for several months now. After attending conferences and online webinars, visiting with schools about their BYOD programs, and researching online, a timeline was developed to guide the program implementation. Here’s a summary of what we are doing to implement a BYOD program that allows laptops, tablets, netbooks, and ereaders (not cell phones or gaming devices.)
- The Tech Dept has researched and developed a plan to provided sufficient infrastructure and security to support the program, including a new wireless system installation to replace our current one and a separate “guest network” for student devices.
- Meetings have been held to gather input from PLC leaders and Core Department Chairs.
- The Student Super Committee was formed and meetings held to gather student input, generate interest and a sense of empowerment. We will continue to gather feedback from this group after the pilot begins.
- We surveyed our students to gather data on what hardware they have available for their use, and if they were interested in bringing their own devices to school.
- A Personal Device Usage Policy is being written that will most likely be included in the High School Handbook. This is still in the rough draft stage.
- FAQs documents for Students, Parents, and Staff have been or are being developed to inform all stake holders about the the program.
- A plan for staff professional development has been formulated. With a significant focus being put on tech integration the last couple year, this program should not be a major change for our staff.
- There will be some minor classroom management and instruction changes, which have been outlined in the Staff FAQs, as well as modeled in a couple example lesson plans. A File Formats Reference was created for teachers to refer to when specifying a file format for digitally submitted assignments.
- The staff will be reviewing and discussing these BYOD documents during their Professional Learning Committee meetings.
- Following that we will have a faculty meeting to field questions and discuss the pilot.
- During our upcoming professional development day, staff will have time to further reflect on the implications of this program in department meetings, making notes about how it will affect their instruction.
- As a followup to the department meetings, a BYOD Open Discussion will convene that same day to share questions or suggestions.
- The instructional coaches for the building will be available to assist teachers in planning and teaching lessons in which students use their own devices.
- Dependent on the updates to the infrastructure, we hope to start with Juniors and Seniors in early March. If all goes well, we will proceed by allowing all high students to bring their devices at the end of March.
- Data will be collected to evaluate the success of the pilot. We are in the process of determining what data to collect and how best to do so.
This is just a pilot program this school year. I’m sure there will be kinks to work out. We are hoping by running the pilot at the end of the school year, we can ensure a smooth full implementation in the Fall of 2012.