Throughout this blog series on BYOD and 1:1 Tablet Implementation, we’ll learn about the types of BYOD scheme, the numerous benefits, the challenges of implementing these schemes and the potential cost savings they can offer.
We’ve already seen in our BYOD blog series that there undoubtedly numerous benefits to implementing a BYOD in your school, but there are also some challenges to consider, each of which can be overcome with careful planning, the right infrastructure and a clear strategy in place.
While we know that BYOD schemes can save teachers’ time, they could have the added issue of having to ensure students are using their device for learning and not for their own uses within class. Also, since students would potentially be using a broad range of devices, teachers may have to become experts on each type of device to assist them or spend lots of time trying to make resources and applications work on different operating systems and screen sizes.
If a school can restrict the number of different devices and Operating Systems, then the management of these devices is much simpler and the scheme is more likely to have a positive impact in the classroom rather than a disruptive one - this may not be seen as a true BYOD scheme but it is far more likely to be adopted and embedded.
There is also some responsibility on the schools in terms of making sure their students are safe with their physical devices; if it became well known in the local area that students were bringing their devices back and forth to school, it could open up the potential for crime.
Keeping students safe online while using their devices is another key consideration. With school-owned devices, this can be achieved using filtering and monitoring tools to limit and check the content students can search for. However, with student-owned devices, there’s a grey area around what controls the school can put on those devices and to what extent they should be able to restrict content other than through their standard internet filtering.
The key here is having a robust e-safety policy, closely involving parents, which informs and empowers students to protect themselves online. There are also mobile device management products which allow schools to set different profiles which implement online restrictions when students enter the school environment. Some of these products also have parent portals to allow parents to review their child’s internet history and even location.
For more advice, insights and tips on which BYOD solution could be right for your school, check out the other blogs in our BYOD series at www.rm.com/blog or contact us for more information.