BYOD CTO/CIO Leadership

Strategizing Your BYOT Implementation, Part 2

BYOT implementation
Written by Miguel Guhlin

Note: This is the second in a continuing series, Strategizing Your BYOT Implementation.  Be sure to read other blog entries relevant to BYOD.

“Mobile learning is all about changing instruction. Because if the instruction doesn’t change, allowing the kids to bring their own device will do nothing,” shared Lenny Schad, Katy ISD Chief Technology Officer. Another approach, once you’ve explored BYOT from various stakeholder roles, is to review the checklist below and ask, How am I going to get there from here? Make this as specific as you can for YOUR role on campus.

Seven Question BYOT Checklist

Item Question to Ponder Taking Action
1. Have you defined and aligned the goals for the BYOT program to the Campus Improvement Plan and district mission? Tip: Connect BYOT use to differentiated instruction, the district’s mission, and specific instructional strategies in your CIP.
2. Have you outlined expectations for teachers and students about using Google Suites for Education (e.g. Classroom) or Microsoft Classroom to create online, virtual classrooms? Tip: Encourage teachers to spend some classroom time answering questions from students on specifically how they will use the technologies in class.
3. Have you decided what to do when students and/or staff bring too many devices that slow down the network (one BYOT device per person is recommended)? Tip: Let students know they can only connect one wireless device to the network and why.
4. How will teachers be supported on campus–not just through district professional development–to transform classroom learning activities from being paper focused to electronic to eliminate the need for printing (for example, students can’t print from BYOT devices)? Tip: Use the Classroom Learning Activity Rubric.
5. How will you share BYOT program goals, define expectations, show students what they can do with the device, help students connect to the wireless network, and address concerns from stakeholders? Tip: Encourage teachers to attend online webinars they can participate in from their classroom or home; have frequent parent communications; share with staff what is appropriate to say about BYOT. Instead of, “Why isn’t this working?” encourage them to say “We’re working together to learn how to best take advantage of BYOT in the classroom.”
6. How will campus leaders and teachers respond to questions of equity (e.g. I can’t afford to buy my child a device)? Tip: Share that the campus has devices available for students who can’t or don’t want to bring their own school. The more BYOT is practiced, the more school devices are available for those with the greatest need.
7. How should I answer questions from staff/students/parents about which devices to use? Tip: Refer to the BYOT Mobile Device Chart online at the bottom of this blog entry.

 

As you have seen, the focus of these crucial conversations involves flushing out tough questions in advance, clearly laying out answers to anticipated questions so that all stakeholders know what’s up, and constantly asking “What questions am I not asking that will enhance instruction now that we have these devices available?”

BYOT Mobile Device Chart

Wondering which mobile device does what and how it can be useful for teaching and learning? This chart attempts to map out that information. While it would be impossible to map out ALL devices, this chart does select some of the more popular, affordable mobile devices and their potential uses in the classroom. Please note that mention of a device in this chart does not constitute a product endorsement; these are offered for informational and/or reference purposes only. All data is subject to change. The 5-star rating is as follows:

  • 5 star = BYOT Exceptional – mobile creativity, storage, and sharing device (e.g. WiFi iPad/Nexus allows for Google Drive/MS OneDrive, cloud storage options, video/image editing and creation, GoogleDocs/Office 365 accessibility, etc.)
  • 4 star = Great – allows for wide range of creative apps (e.g. pictures, short video clips, texting) and wireless sharing (WiFi) only limited by account options and apps. Devices include iPod Touch, iPhone, laptops, netbooks)
  • 3 star = Fair – allows for some use (e.g. allows for research via Internet, pictures, video). WiFi access
  • 2 star = Acceptable – usable for specific purposes (content consumption) only (e.g. eReader without Internet or apps) and WiFi
  • 1 star = Limited – Not appropriate for BYOT classroom use (e.g. may lack WiFi support, difficult to get media on or off device, gaming options).

Note: Here is the Mobile Device Chart in MS Word or PDF version for modification and/or printing.

Device

Features

Rating

Netbooks/Laptops

Windows/Mac Laptop
approx >= $230. Find out more at your local retail or computer store
  • WiFi access
  • Local hard drive storage and Google Drive/ MS OneDrive Access
  • Various creativity programs including Office suites
  • Requires anti-virus/anti-malware
  • Built-in webcam
  • Web browsing
*****
Google Chromebook approx >= $249
  • WiFi access
  • Local hard drive (small) storage and Google Drive/ MS OneDrive Access
  • Various creativity programs including Office suites
  • Built-in webcam
  • Web browsing
*****

Tablets

Microsoft Surface Pro 3-5
  • WiFi access
  • Local hard drive storage and Google Drive/ MS OneDrive Access
  • Various creativity programs including Office suites
  • Requires anti-virus/anti-malware
  • Built-in webcam
  • Web browsing
*****
Apple iPad
approx >= $330 minimum
  • iTunes App Store
  • WiFi access
  • Google Drive/ MS OneDrive Access
  • Wide variety of creativity apps, including Office apps
  • Video/Still image camera(s)
  • Email/Social media
  • Web browsing
  • Bluetooth compatibility for external keyboard
*****
Android Tablets (>=$200)

Examples:

  • Android tablet with access to Google Play apps
  • Google Drive Access
  • Office apps
  • Video/Still image camera
  • Email/Social media
  • Web browsing
  • Bluetooth compatibility for external keyboard
  • eBooks via Barnes and Noble and Amazon
  • Handheld (7inch)
*****
Apple iPod Touch
(>=$200)
  • WiFi
  • iTunes App Store
  • Google Drive Access
  • Office apps
  • Video/Still image camera
  • Email/Social media
  • Web browsing
  • eBooks via Barnes and Noble and Amazon
  • Handheld (4.3 in x 2.4 in)
**

SmartPhones

Apple iPhone
  • WiFi
  • iTunes App Store
  • Google Drive Access
  • Office apps
  • Video/Still image camera
  • Email/Social media
  • Web browsing
  • eBooks via Barnes and Noble and Amazon
  • Handheld (4.3 in x 2.4 in)
****
Android Phone
  • WiFi
  • Google Play Store
  • Google Drive Access
  • Office apps
  • Video/Still image camera, depending on model
  • Email/Social media
  • Web browsing
  • eBooks via Barnes and Noble and Amazon
  • Handheld
****

eBook Readers

Barnes and Noble Nook (Samsung tablet) approx >= $99
  • WiFi
  • No creation or sharing features
  • Touch screen
  • MP3 player
  • eBook formats supported: PDF, EPUB, eReader, PDB, JPG, GIF, PNG
**
Kindle Fire 
approx >= $69
  • WiFi
  • No creation or sharing features
  • Touch screen
  • MP3 player
  • eBook formats supported: Kindle Format 8 (AZW3), Kindle (AZW), TXT, PDF, unprotected MOBI, PRC natively
**

Other Devices

Nintendo DSi approx >= $100
  • WiFi
  • Photo/Video
  • Touch screen with stylus
  • Not appropriate for BYOT
*
Gaming consoles
  • Not appropriate for BYOT
*

 

References

Walker, Michael. (3/12/12). 6 Steps for Increasing Student Access with BYOD

 

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About the author

Miguel Guhlin

Director of Professional Development at TCEA
A former director of technology, Miguel brings a unique perspective to TCEA’s professional development team. He specializes in Microsoft’s educational products and has extensive instructional technology experience. A prolific writer, Miguel blogs at Around the Corner and for TCEA’s TechNotes Blog. Miguel earned both his Master’s degree in Bicultural/Bilingual Studies with an ESL Concentration and his B.A. at University of Texas, San Antonio.

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