Case Study: BYOD in the Classroom – Two Schools That Are Doing it Right
Posted by Jen C. on Thursday, October 10th, 2013
BYOD is gaining popularity fast. Many organizations see it as a way to save money and increase employee morale. Employees love to use their own devices even if they are paying for them. BYOD isn’t only for corporations; educators are realizing the potential of BYOD in education. Although some schools are reluctant to adopt the technology that they have restricted in the past, others are embracing it. Since kids and teens have access to technology that not all schools can provide to them, it seems like a win-win. But BYOD in education doesn’t come without challenges. Policing the students to make sure that they are doing their work and are not distracted by social media will be a challenge, as will creating a secure environment and ensuring BYOD privacy. Here are two schools who have embraced BYOD and are having success with it:
Anderson County School District, Kentucky
Without a budget to provide technology to each student, Anderson County School District decided to allow their 3800 students and 500 staff members to bring their own laptops and devices so that they could access educational material. They found that 80% of students owned devices that could be used on the network. It would be too expensive for the school district to purchase devices for each student, so allowing the student to use the technology that they have access to and just upgrading their network to accommodate seemed to be the best decision. Their challenge was to provide a safe, secure wireless connection that could handle all of the devices accessing WiFi in the school. They were able to find a solution and now students have a great interactive learning experience.
Hillside High School, Utah
Look around the campus of Hillside High School and you will see BYOD in all its glory. Students are working together on projects in the common area with their laptops, iPads and other devices and they are using those devices in the classroom, too. BYOD has been a benefit to this school and students. One concern with other schools about BYOD is what will happen if the student or family can’t afford these expensive devices. In Hillside High School, students that don’t have the technology are able to use the schools laptops. Access to technology in a BYOD setting gives a student limitless possibilities when it comes to creativity and projects that require digital access. Their challenges have been to keep the student safe (and learning) and to have a network that can handle the access of all its students.
These are just two examples of schools that are taking advantage of BYOD. Although there are many benefits to letting students use their own devices in the classroom, there are also concerns. With technology being a big distraction, it’s natural for parents and teachers to be concerned with kids being able to access social media and other sites when they are supposed to be learning. There are also concerns about cost to the student and the school being able to upgrade their networks to handle the volume of people accessing it. Schools are addressing these issues and coming up with policies and procedures to make sure that students are benefiting from this technology. There are many studies proving that iPads and other technology in the classroom directly benefit the students, so integrating this with technology they use at home seems like a natural fit.
Do you need help creating a BYOD environment for your school and help your students get the most out of their learning experience. We can help. Contact us today!