Why your school needs a BYOD strategy – and how to create it

Why your school needs a BYOD strategy – and how to create it

The past year changed everything about education. With online learning at an all-time high, lessons are more tech-based than ever before – and they’re likely to stay that way.

Now, schools are shifting their focus to ensure all students have access to educational technology. But with limited IT budgets, many must still prioritize keeping costs down.

The solution? BYOD (bring your own device) programs that let students continue learning from the personal devices they’re already familiar with.

Here’s how to effectively integrate student-owned devices into the classroom with a managed BYOD strategy.

What is BYOD?

Bring your own device (BYOD) programs started in the corporate world. These solutions are designed to let individuals use their personal devices, most often smartphones, tablets or laptops, to access the internet and other network materials.

At school, that usually means students use devices brought from home to complete lessons electronically or use educational applications, while being restricted from accessing certain sites, including social media platforms.

Why is BYOD important?

Not all schools have the budget to purchase a device for each student. But as education necessitates more tech-based learning, districts are looking for creative solutions to help bridge the digital gap and increase device access.

BYOD programs free up limited IT budgets so schools can concentrate their funds on helping students whose families may be experiencing financial challenges. This ensures all students have equal access to BYOD benefits like:

  • Personalized learning
  • Digital collaboration
  • Tech literacy
  • Job preparation

How much schools save by integrating student-owned devices into their edtech strategy varies. However, the potential is huge! As one Cisco report claims “businesses who practice BYOD in the workplace save $450 CAD per employee per year, with a potential of saving up to $1600 per year per employee.”

Developing a BYOD strategy

By the time infants reach age two, 38% have already used at least one smart device. It’s probably not a stretch then to assume that many have a machine they’re familiar with by the time they start school. Letting them learn on something they’re already accustomed to working with is smart, if you have the right strategy in place.

To effectively manage different classroom devices, schools need a comprehensive BYOD plan. Often referred to as an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), these guidelines clearly communicate where and when devices will be used in school as well as internet safety policies around messaging and social media use.

By the time infants reach age two, 38% have already used at least one smart device.

Be sure to outline the process you’ll use to ensure computers are up-to-date enough to access class material and how you’ll secure machines brought from home. It’s also important your BYOD strategy addresses how it will provide tech for students who don’t have access to an updated or school-appropriate device at home.

Finally, decide on which platform-agnostic tools you’ll use, too. Web or cloud-based applications and educational apps available to everyone are a good start.

John Dewey once said, “If we teach today as we taught yesterday, we rob our children of tomorrow.” Educational devices are a huge part of how we ensure children are educated for tomorrow. The fact that BYOD programs help make this process less expensive for schools and districts is a nice perk that puts updated edtech within reach for all students.

Content created and provided by ONEAFFINITI.