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Trial a BYOD class first or go for it?

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Started by DiWilkes 29 Apr 2013 11:09am () Replies (14)

I am curious about your thoughts:

1. Would you recommend trialling BYOD in one class or year group before engaging the entire school in the process?  

2. Has BYOD in Years 1-3 been successful for you?

3. How do you get resistant parents or even a BOT on board?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated:)


  • Allanah King (View all users posts) 29 Apr 2013 12:46pm ()

    For me, if I had the opportunity, I would start with trial group to iron out the crinkles. You might find out that your wireless doesn't cope or your policies and practices around digital citizenship need developing further before launching across a whole school.

  • Simon Bell (View all users posts) 30 Apr 2013 10:24am ()

    Certainly a good idea to trial a class first and to get a teacher who is enthusiasic about it and ready to launch into it.  While that is happening it is a good idea to look into infrastructure school philosophy and also staff development.

    Looking into digital citizenship as well is a good idea.  We have found that they link nicely with school values when talking about digital citizenship.

    We have slowly began a BYOD programme looking at Year 3 with the long term aim going down to Year 1.  Depending on which device is used i.e. ipad for example the use of educational apps can be great to reinforce and engage learning.

    Here is a link talking about NCEA exams to be online in 4-6 years time.  Beginning blended e-Learning approach certainly helps with preparing digital kids for the future.


    Parents don't like change (sometimes BOT too).  The idea is to give them information about a 21st Century vision for learning, centered around the schools 21st Century vision.  Invite them into the classroom to see how learning has changed.  We have found one of the parents main worries is that they know alot about computers and their children will know more then they can't help them.  
    We have experienced this and one strategy we used with the parents was inviting them into the classroom to look at e-Learning and running fortnightly workshops afterschool around things like googledocs, finding apps etc. 

  • DiWilkes (View all users posts) 30 Apr 2013 1:24pm ()

    I think a trial makes the most sense as well.  As you say Simon, tapping into an enthusiastic teacher who can be the BYOD ambassador is a great place to start.

    Thanks for your suggestions around getting parents and BOT on board- they are certainly useful ideas.  It would be wonderful if everyone shared the understanding around the 6 themes in Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching - a New Zealand perspective found at:  http://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/schooling/109306

    I am thinking of ways to share this effectively with parents.  Perhaps the most effective way to catalyse a change in perspective is to see it in action.

    When it comes to a BOT that may be resistant to change (meaning a willingness to invest in ICTs usually) I think that suggesting a BYOD trial is a great way to motivate a shift in not only their thinking but the pedagogy and engagement in learning as well.

    As with most things- the key is communication and engaging the wider school community as much as possible.


  • Andrew de Wit (View all users posts) 30 Apr 2013 8:53pm ()


    we did most of our infrastructure last year and launched BYOD this year. Did it pretty genetly, with no compulsion, and no set criteria with devices.

    We are a small school and only launched in the senior classes (2!).

    We only did a parent survey before we started and BOT consultation and have consequently run a parent meeting to share progress.

    We really are trying to model learning ourselves by learning as we go and not being scared of the process. The interesting thing I commented on to our parents, is that to the students it is just a natural thing - to the adults it is a bigger deal. 

  • Andrew Wooster (View all users posts) 04 May 2013 9:44am ()

    Well done Andrew on getting things moving.  I share your view that the children have been ready for a long time and it's the parents that are still not sure. Continuing with your community evenings, info lunches etc will knock done those barriers.  Getting some of those IT parents that may like to help on board will also help. Parents tend to listen to other parents just the same as kids tend to listen to kids.

  • DiWilkes (View all users posts) 30 Apr 2013 9:26pm ()

    Well done Andrew!  Trailblazing is how many learn best.  I commend your approach of modelling learning for the school community- too often we put educational technologies on the backburner in fear of not being an expert.  Your last statement really rings true to me and to paraphrase Dr. Julia Atkin "they'll eat it up, it's their world" and we need to meet them where they live to make meaningful connections and engage learning.  If you haven't seen this one it may make you smile:  A Vision of 21st Century Teachers

    I often encourage teachers to discuss what learning looks like in the 21st century (given we are 13 years into it!).  Then we look at this 21st C Overview.  Doesn't BYOD sit well within this brainstorm?!

  • Anjela Webster (View all users posts) 02 May 2013 11:06am ()

    Great thread and support being shared. It shows we're all on a continuum...

    We originally envisioned starting the year with BYOD in y5-8, with iPads being the preferred device.

    A powerful amount of work was carried out by myself and our Head in the last two terms of 2012, and I quickly came to the realisation that we weren't ready, if we wanted to implement a strategy well. So we slowed it all down, got a team onboard, and have worked collaboratively to have team buy-in across all levels of the school, in a culture of trial, risk-taking, exploring, inquiring (that's the staff!). We are starting T2 with five classes out of twelve embedding a group of 7 school puchased iPads into their curriculum. Each Digital Strategy Team teacher has responsibility throughout T2 to provide leadership to their syndicate as the iPads will then circulate into other classes from T3, and BYOD will begin if DST teachers feel ready, from T3. If they're not, we're not pushing a timeframe. 

    The idea is that eventually the school purchased iPads will end up in the Year 1-3 area, and BYOD will be implemented across all other levels.

    For anyone just starting out- my thoughts - getting a Digital Strategy underway requires active buy-in from your Principal/ senior management or I believe it is a long, long haul that can be very frustrating and discouraging, so keep pressing in with research links, read and circulate the recent 'Education and Science Committee Report'  (2012) www.parliament.nz and subsequent response from Nikki Kaye, (2013, April 10) Press Release - Beehive.govt.nz  indicating 21st Century learning environments will be a priority for the Government in the nearer future. " We are aiming high for young New Zealanders to be the most digitally literate in the world so they can have every opportunity to be more innovative and better compete in a modern economy". 

    if it is helpful, I've  shared a link to aHaiku Deck I created to respond to our status re 'Readiness' last year. I was able to use this with Board reps and staff to illustrate and expand on the key issues. We've used this recently to measure our progress with DST and wider staff. Last year We had carried out a 'Survey Monkey' with parents, and another with staff this year to gauge concerns, support, key needs. 


    Cheers and good luck to everyone some where on the continuum.  :))

  • Bronwen Seaward (View all users posts) 02 May 2013 3:47pm ()

    At our school we decided to trial a BYOD class first to iron out the wrinkles. I am really lucky to be the main teacher of this class and have been amazed at how well it's all going! We did a lot of work during 2012 bringing the wider school community on board. This included parents and staff - some reactions were really positive while others were a little more aprehensive! Due to this we made the class optional at Year 7 - in other words parents had to opt their child into the class. I was really worried that we wouldn't have enough interest however in the end we we had 48 students for a maximum of 30 places. I think that this shows how keen both parents and students are for this type of learning. We also did a lot of work last year on the "paperwork". We reworked our cyber safety agreement bringing ot more in line with our school values and also created a BYOD agreement. Currently our school is waiting for whole school wireless and we are testing our new ultrafast broadband (with mixed results). We were hoping to have BYOD open up to our Senior (Year 13) students later this year aiming to have it school wide by 2014 - but these things take time. I have found the process to be a lot of hard work but it's all been worth it - my students are loving the blended learning approach and are so engaged with their learning. I would love to hear from any other teachers in a similar situation (Year 7) to share ideas and strategies. All the best to those of you thinking about trialing BYOD - my advice is go for it!!

  • Anna Harrison (View all users posts) 03 May 2013 1:05pm ()

    Hi Diana

    Some lessons learned Smile

    1. Trial with 2 teachers so they can collaborate and support each other

    2. Monitor closely - weekly meetings with senior managers, trial teachers etc. to discuss pros, cons, successes, barriers, challenges

    3. Trial for at least 2 terms - term 1 for technicalities, system development, organisation, experimenting, term 2 for focused on teaching and learning

    4. Buddy with another school who has trialed or is trialing BYOD

    5. Ensure everyone knows WHY before it starts and the why is the continual touchstone through the trial - does BYOD really meet our why?

    6. Keep digital citizenship as a focus before and during the trial

    A trial is definitely recommended!!

  • Callie Ballara (View all users posts) 03 May 2013 9:12pm ()

    I am trialling BYOD in my year 2 class. The only class in our school to do so. While there have been many challenges, overall it has been very successful. Students are engaged and excited about the possibilities, and it amazes me how quickly they learn to use new apps. 

    challenges have been:

    • Being the only class trialling BYOD, it is sometimes difficult to get support from management and/ or other staff.
    • Getting parents on board- their 6 year olds know more about the iPads than they do, they don't always see or understand the benefits and are worried their children will no longer be learning to write!
    • Sharing work from ipads- how to do this efficiently ie: to cloud, blog, e-portfolio platform etc
    • For me personally, learning to focus on what we need to learn and how we can use the ipad to support this, rather than finding a great app and thinking 'I need to use this,' without any good reason to.

    I intend (as suggested by someone posting on VLN) to run a workshop for parents where they can come and experience some of the things we are doing on our iPads and hear our vision. Also getting parents to download all the apps required while I am there to offer support would be helpful, as it is frustrating when students come to school missing an app or with the wrong ones.

  • Karen Spencer (View all users posts) 07 May 2013 10:10am ()

    Really enjoying the debate and discussion in this thread - thanks everyone:) There have been several really practical suggestions from many of you about how to start and things to think about.

    sharing our workTo throw another plum into the cake, I'd like to suggest that, even if it's a trial with one a class or a group of students, a benefit for the school community is that others not involved in the trial can observe and share in the process. It's a great opportunity to discuss ideas around why we would even pursue this way of learning.

    For example:

    • how can increased access to mobile devices change the way we motivate and engage students, and build on who they are, what they already know and bring to class?
    • how can it help us design activities that offer different pathays towards similar learning outcomes?
    • how might 'byod' allow students to show their learning in different ways?

    All of this is underpinned by sets of values and beliefs around what we think/believe will help young people learn and engage - these are great conversations to have with staff/students/whānau, whether they are involved in a trial or observers.

    On the NZ Curriculum Online site, there are several stories that explore ways to unpack school values. Albany SHS Vision, values and ePortfolios illustrates how the decisions we make about technologies can be guided by what our vision for learning. Might be useful to explore further:)

    It would be great to hear about how a trial was used in a school as a touchstone for exploring how the vision for the school is made real in the learning enabled by the technologies:)

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