Get a comprehensive review of BYOD School Policy, benefits, and challenges. Learn concerns among educators about BYOD and why the school implemented BYOD.
Technological innovations are bringing a plethora of opportunities in the education world, which bring along possibilities as well as challenges for the teachers and students. Basically, technology-driven education has two key issues to deal with – gadgets and electronic study mediums that are fast becoming obsolete and students who need to use these devices for education and not social networking.
The introduction of BYOD in schools aims to solve both these problems easily and efficiently. On top of it, there are other advantages and benefits of embracing BYOD amongst students. However, we also need to consider the challenges, concerns, and effective BYOD school policy to ensure complete success in its implementation and execution. Let’s look at them one by one.
Gen Y children are more intelligent than ever, thanks to the influx of technologies like digitalization, virtualization, AR, VR, etc. Today’s students are well-read about the most relevant and current study-related apps, gadgets, devices, and websites, so much so that the teachers need to constantly keep pace with the updates of new technology trends. Schools and educational institutions are fast embracing the latest technological innovations that are bringing a revolution in the learning and education sector. To validate this observation, many firms have conducted different research:
According to the numbers, students increasingly see technology as a critical factor for their academic success. This is a decision-making factor when selecting colleges and universities that meet their tech expectations and needs. IT admins of many schools and colleges have started to believe that students are the driving force in setting up the IT agenda of the institutes, and they need to quickly adapt to be competitive. As a matter of fact, students prefer using their own smartphones, tablets, or laptops for academic purposes as they have a certain level of user comfort. An IT strategy backed with a robust Bring Your Own Device BYOD policy becomes the answer.
Implementing the BYOD School policy proves to be effective in lifting off the schools’ expensive device budgets. Students bringing their own devices to classrooms means freeing the schools from the responsibility of providing each device to each student. This enables the schools to focus on more crucial aspects like quality of education, communication, training, co-curricular, etc. In this case, schools can readily meet the requirements of students who cannot afford to bring their smartphones.
Young minds are the most flexible and prudent when it comes to experimenting, exploring, and discovering. BYOD is loved by students for the convenience, comfort, and flexibility it offers. Studying, sharing, researching, and completing projects could never get easier than this as students experience an enhanced sense of engagement, curiosity, agility, and interaction with the introduction of BYOD in schools. With improved collaboration, BYOD greatly reduces the learning curve.
After much consideration, when a school finally decides to implement BYOD for students, there is a full list of policies that the school needs to follow for beneficial BYOD execution.
Step #1 – Build a BYOD research team to analyze all the angles of BYOD, the probable issues, challenges, and concerns, security factors, assess how other schools have implemented it and which BYOD model will be suitable.
Step #2 – Conduct a survey to understand the user attitude and types of devices. Gather opinions from parents, staff, and guardians and use a QR code linked to a google form to collect submissions easily. Interpret the collected data and clarify the next step.
Step #3 – After analyzing the survey data, hold a meeting and share your findings with all stakeholders like students, teachers, staff, parents, guardians, and caregivers and have an open discussion about BYOD introduction in schools.
Step #4 – Create a BYOD interest group with representation from each stakeholder group and draft a complete BYOD school policy document including aspects like:
Step #5 – Circulate this elongated BYOD school policy across all stakeholders and gather feedback and comments from them and the school community.
Step #6 – Gather opinions, advice, and feedback to document the final policy sheet.
Step #7 – Share and communicate the final BYOD school policy with all students, teachers, staff, parents, and the school community.
Learn More: BYOD Best Practices: A Complete Check-List
Like a coin with two sides, BYOD for education comes with certain concerns, especially when the users are students. Teachers majorly worry about the usage of electronic devices and smartphones as they have witnessed students getting distracted by them in the classroom. Although certain restrictions can help, these too can be violated by tech-savvy students who always find a way around these limitations. There are other sources of distractions such as inapt entertainment, games, and social media.
Learn More: Top BYOD Risks and Concerns
On the other hand, implementing BYOD school policies might also add to the already existing gap between low and high-income families, followed by students distinguishing each other based on the devices they use. One thing leads to another, and this may trigger bullying of low-income students by others. However, these concerns could not diminish the prevalence of BYOD in schools, but the school authorities are expected to address these challenges as well while keeping in mind other elements like teacher training, community preference, student performance, and financial reasonability.
To sum up, BYOD school policy comes with its associated risks, concerns, and possibilities – it will be the school’s responsibility to implement a BYOD Management software strategy powered by apt policies, security regulations, guidelines, and best practices. Students should always be encouraged to use and leverage the latest technologies to stay abreast and learn faster. BYOD offers multiple scopes with an added feeling of familiarity as students find it easy to grab a lesson when they are taught through an already known medium.