Before launching a BYOD initiative there are many issues that require consideration. Review the list of questions. Use them to frame a discussion about BYOD at your school.
- Can a student bring any device? (smartphone, tablet, netbook, e-readers, laptop, gaming console) Discussion questions for BYOD in schools.
- Will there be minimal standards such as screen size, processing speed?
- Do you want students to be able to use their devices to interact with existing technology such as interactive white boards?
- Do you want teachers to manage content between devices?
- Will your school offer students devices for purchase?
- Will your school offer a leasing option to parents?
- Will students be allowed to bring multiple devices? (e.g. smartphone and laptop)
- What apps will students be using?
- Will the school or teacher specify or recommend apps?
- Will teachers have access to a learning management system (LMS)?
- Will they be able to pick their LMS?
- Will they be told which LMS to use?
- Will they receive training on how to effectively implement the LMS?
- Who purchases apps?
- Will your school offer educational pricing for software?
- Will your school charge a user fee for apps?
- Will the school require student devices have antivirus/malware protection?
- Some apps require an email address to register. Will students be given a school email address or will parents need to sign their child up for an email account?
- What alternatives will you offer students without devices to guarantee equality (lending library, computer lab, mobile cart, computers in classroom)?
- How many devices would you need to ensure equality?
- What type of device will you provide?
- How often will this equipment be updated to avoid a device gap as technology advances?
- What percentage of the student population likely has a device to bring in?
- What activities will students complete?
- What measures will be taken by the teacher to make sure that students without a device are not penalized?
- Are there e-book versions available for existing textbooks?
- What is the cost to obtain the e-book version?
- Will parents pay for an e-book version?
- What classroom rules should be established for BYOD?
- Where can the students use their device? In the classroom, library, hallway, gym, restroom, playground, school bus?
- Should access be restricted during certain hours of the day? Can it be used before/after school, when changing classes, recess, or lunchtime?
- Is device usage restricted to educational purposes or can students use it for other reasons?
- Will students be able to print from their device?
- Will students be able to use devices outside of school hours at school-sponsored events?
- Who can bring a device? (e.g. students, parents, teachers, volunteers, school contractors)
- Will access be restricted by grade level?
- Will access vary depending on user?
- Will teachers be required to offer technical support for hardware, software, or network issues?
- What resources will be provided to help students connect to the network?
- Who will create the resources to help with technical support?
- What format will be used for the resources? (print, video)
- How will these resources be shared? (handout, posted to website)
- Will a tech team be created to help students with their devices?
- How will teachers offer support for apps?
- Do devices have to be turned off and stowed away when students are not in class?
- Where are devices to be stored? (e.g. lockable trollies, cupboards, or lockers)
- What constitutes an infraction?
- What existing school policies already cover infractions?
- Can school personnel confiscate a device if it is not being used appropriately?
- Under what circumstance can the device be confiscated?
- What is the duration before the child’s device is returned?
- Can school personnel search the contents of a device if it is not being used appropriately?
- Under what circumstance can the device be searched?
- Does a parent need to be present or can they offer verbal consent?
- Can a search be conducted without parent permission?
- Can school personnel limit, suspend, or revoke the privilege of bringing a device to school?
- Are all teachers committed to supporting BYOD? How can you create a “buy-in”?
- What training is required to support teachers in their implementation of student devices?
- How will teachers be given time in their schedule to collaborate with fellow teachers?
- How will teachers be supported over time?
- Do parents support BYOD?
- How do you want to involve parents in BYOD?
- Do you want to offer an information session, where they can explore devices to see their educational use?
- How will you keep parents informed about BYOD?
- Should parents be encouraged to purchase hazard/theft insurance?
- What will be in our BYOD policy?
- What content should be included in the parent letter?
- What should the BYOD agreement form look like?
- Do all users (administrators, teachers, volunteers) need to sign the BYOD agreement or only students?
- Does the Internet Acceptable Use policy need updating?
- Can the current infrastructure serve additional devices? What upgrades need to be made to provide a secure, efficient service? (bandwidth, firewall, access points, server, mobile device management system)
- Will WIFI networks be public and permit only Internet access or will it be private, permitting students to login to server?
- If private, what upgrades are required to have an efficient authentication process?
- Does the infrastructure have a backup system so that if the WIFI service is interrupted, education is not disrupted?
- Is there monitoring software to allow IT to adjust the service to reduce the impact of high demand videos or other apps that hog bandwidth?
- Are there enough outlets and power sources for students and others to charge devices?
- Will there be charging stations?
- What rules will be associated with using the charging stations?
- Will students register their devices? What process will be used for registration?
- How much will it cost to upgrade the infrastructure?
- Will it cost money to upgrade the electrical system to accommodate charging stations?
- Is there additional software that needs to be purchased to monitor the network?
- Is there a cost associated with maintenance of the infrastructure?
- How often will the infrastructure require updating?