Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Bring Your Own Devices - How Do You Do It Or How Do You Get There?

Notes from Lone Star Edubloggercon Breakout Session at TCEA 2011. I got to facilitate this session, which means I briefly set the stage and then invited everyone in the session to share. Fortunately, there was a plethora of experience and ideas in the room!

McKinney ISD - Three high schools piloting students bringing their own devices
  • AUP for guest access pops up every time someone tries to connect to their guest wireless
  • Teachers now struggling with using devices which have many different types of software and limitations such as limited data plans.
  • Setting up forms for teachers to survey students on what type of devices their students have so they can plan better for instruction
  • Survey of parents has shown generally positive
  • No staff development with teachers first
  • Nothing in place yet to block 3G/4G access. Going to observe and see what happens.
  • Some campuses have laptop carts they can use to supplement for students who do not have devices to bring
  • McKinney ISD BYOT Advertising Flyer
  • McKinney ISD BYOT Student, Teacher, and Parent Guide
Eanes ISD - Starting a pilot with their 8th graders bringing their own cell phones
  • No staff development with teachers first
  • Teachers who were interested initiated the project
  • Now doing once a month PD sessions; instructional technology partners offer classes and tech committee teacher members will eventually get release time to offer classes as well
  • Students from NJHS have formed a Campus Geek Squad to help teachers learn to use the technology - this was initiated by the students!
  • For next year the idea is to go school wide and do staff development in the summer
  • Estimates about 80% of students have smart phones
Independent School in San Jose California
  • Did do staff development before going to 1:1
  • School buys a large number of devices and leases them out to the students for $600 per year. Insured for breakage
  • Software that is specific to a discipline (Ex: Chemistry software) can be purchased and licensed for the leased computers
General Observations/Questions/Notes
  • Students have the technology already and would like to use it
  • Teachers may not have the devices themselves - should the school provide these?
  • What if we're an all PC campus and now we have to work with Apple iProducts
  • Guest access may need to be segmented to protect bandwidth and protect internal network from virus, etc.
  • How do we create lessons that are device neutral and account for the fact that not all students will have devices to bring? Cloud computing?
  • Can districts provide a vehicle for parents to know what to purchase? Provide bulk purchase agreement?
  • Monitoring appropriate use is an issue.

Thanks to all who participated in this conversation. Please post further thoughts or links to further resources in the comments!

NOTE: If you were interested in this post, you might also be interested in my May 3, 2011 post Successes & Challenges of a Bring Your Own Device Initiative