Getting students to use their devices during class is hardly a challenge—many teachers can attest to that. Getting them to use their devices for actual classwork, well, that’s a different story.
Ensuring devices are used in a way that directly supports classwork is the first, and arguably most important, step to consider when planning a BYOD implementation.
Here, our advice for schools is the same as it is for businesses:
Never start a new IT initiative without first clearly detailing its goals.
Simply put, if goals are not clearly defined before rolling out a new IT program, such as a BYOD policy, then the program itself is certain to suffer from a lack of clarity and direction. Goals establish governance for the various elements of the program and provide a means to measure progress and success.
When it comes to BYOD in schools, the goals should be tied directly to the curriculum. For example, schools can improve the success of BYOD programs when they leverage the student devices to:
Provide teachers with real-time insight into student progress using digital quizzes and assessments.
Offered by software solutions such as Socrative
Give students a single access point to track their past and present performance.
Offered by platforms such as Firefly
Create more opportunities for collaborative and group learning.
Offered by online tools such as Google for Education
In each of these examples, the usage of the students’ devices is tied directly to scholastic goals. Students are using technology for more than just the sake of using technology.
Instead, they leverage the benefits of technology to better meet the goals of their established curricula.