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Leading BYOD: Start with Values

Started by Mark Osborne 27 Aug 2013 12:54pm () Replies (6)

Kia ora koutou,

I'm Mark Osborne and I'm a consultant for CORE Education. When people ask me what I do, I tell them that I help schools solve problems :-) Prior to joining CORE I was DP at Albany Senior High School where I started one of the first BYOD programmes in the country.

I'm doing a lot of work with schools at the moment helping plan and implement BYOD programmes and the question I'm often asked is 'Where do I start?' I think people see BYOD as being so daunting, and such a radical departure from what we've done with eLearning in the past that it seems like quite a big journey to make. What I remind people of is the fact that BYOD is simply another way for us to help students personalise their learning and take more control over the tools and strategies they use to learn. You're doing it already!

Here's two pieces of advice that schools have found useful when implementing BYOD:

1) Start is with your school's vision and values, and build the programme from there. If you ensure that your approach is consistent with your school's vision/mission statement/educative purpose, it's more likely that all the cogs will move in the same connection, and BYOD will build on the good work already being done in the school. An example of how a lack of alignment might hinder progress is if our school works really hard to create a culture that values teamwork and collaborative learning, but the way we implement BYOD means that students spend a lot of time on their own devices doing individual activities, the two approaches are pulling in the opposite direction.

2) Pay attention to change leadership and mangagement process through the planning and implementation. Different teachers, students and parents will see the change as being somewhere between 'this will be a piece of cake' through to 'this is going to affect everything I'm currently doing'. Depending on where they are on that spectrum, people will need different kinds of support, but in general the following four condition are required for successful cultural change:

  • A compelling reason to change: without knowing why they should change, very few people actually do.
  • The capacity to change: the knowledge and skills required to operate successfully in the new order.
  • Reinforcement systems: the ability to identify improvements that might be needed, and the opportunity to celebrate successes.
  • Consistent role models: people from all over the organisation showing the small tips and tricks that have made their life easier and help achieve the original purpose of the change. (Lawson & Price, The Psychology of Change Mangement

So if you're planning a BYOD programme, see if you can put a tick next to each of those items.


  • Mark Osborne (View all users posts) 02 Sep 2013 8:56am ()

    Hi Rowan,

    Great to hear the progress you're making with BYOD. Starting with cellphones is interesting: as you say they're not what we traditionally think off as 'serious' computing devices, but the are often the device that is most important to a young person. Most of them have great still and video cameras to record evidence of learning, the ability to connect to wifi and access videos, email, wikipedia etc. so can be really powerful learning devices.

    In terms of 'launching' your BYOD, schools that have made good progress in this area have generally achieved two things:

    1) engaged the community using a variety of ways: parent meetings, newsletters, websites, blogs, assemblies, open days etc. The more people can see what's going on, in a way that works for them, the more likely they are to understand it. So- as you say: all of the above and more! Remember that 'buy in' means 'they've bought it!' whereas 'engagement' means 'they've helped create it!' :-)

    2) focused the conversation on quality teaching and learning rather than the devices. By focusing on good quaity learning (and the role that elearning plays in this) we help parents understand the bigger picture of what we're trying to achieve. Many parents get nervous that their kids will now be doing everything on devices, all the time and as a result, other parts of their learning or lives may suffer. Having a conversation around the dispositions required to be a great member of a school/family/community/organisation in the 21st century also helps ensure that elearning is the servant not the master. Also, once parents know more about the kinds of things their young people will be doing on the device, they are better prepared to purchase one that suits their child.

    Hope thet helps Rowan!


  • Geraldine Sumner (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2013 11:48am ()

    As a school we are going to go this way next year. We are not sure what sort of devices to stipulate, capacity and what  platforms the school will need to support these in school.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2013 11:22am ()

    Thanks so much for kick-starting this conversation about steps for planning and implanting BYOD programmes Mark. In another LIVE FORUM, we are also discussing BYOD Pedagogy – what works for schools?  At a quick glance…

    Andrew de Wit from Mangaroa says,

    Essentials were - we got most of the infrastructure working well – UFB, ePortfolios, Google sites…

    rochellei from Te Kowhai says,

    We have several different platforms running in our school – as we contribute to 8 different High schools…

    Anjela Webster is

    …really interested in the rationales and pedagogies that sit behind what we do with technologies in teaching and learning…accessed anywhere, anytime, shared with whānau..no 1 rationale for BYOD…

    Amanda-Ellesbeth Neemia  from Maidstone Intermediate says,

    ...staff were identified as major BYOD stakeholders and a lot of time was spent listening, (researching) identifying learning needs and providing training in order to prepare them for the whole school change….

    Sandy Lediard says,

    We are experimenting with other ways of keeping e-Portfolios (we are having a play with Digication at the moment but may just end up using blogs)…

    Sylvie Vasar says,

    Currently we are using Ultranet and will be introducing the BYOD's for next year. A bit of a dilemma whether we use chrome books or iPads or a combination of both… 

    Thanks for sharing your contexts too Rowan and Linda. Very timely! You might both be interested in the links shared in the BYOD Pedagogy too, as some of these relate directly to community consultation and presentations.

    imageTo all Enabling e-Learning leadership members... can you relate to these scenarios? Is your school poised and ready for BYOD or a little further down the track? What does a work in progress look like for you? We'd love to hear from you Smile

  • L Tomlinson (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2013 10:23am ()

    Hi Rowan,

    Our secondary school is at the same stage as you and we are working through similar questions. We have decided to go with optional BYOD next year and have been steadily putting everything in place. Still lots to do though!

    I've been looking at what others have been doing and there are so many options. Obviously decisions need to be made based around what best suits the school, students and the community.

    It would be great to have some advice from others, so thanks for posting your comments.


  • Rowan Taigel (View all users posts) 29 Aug 2013 7:56am ()

    Hi Mark,

    Our secondary school made the conscious decision this year to shift towards being a blended e-Learning school. We were granted a facilitator through Te Toi Tupu, have drawn up and are beginning to implement our action plan, have established a BeL group with members from each faculty and are having regular PD sessions for individuals, groups and whole staff.

    A couple of years ago, the decision was made to allow students to bring cellphones, in particular, to school, and to be able to use them in the grounds and in the classroom under teacher guidance. Our UFB will be kicking in next month and the ability and potential for staff and students to do so much more on their devices at school is fantastic. 

    The potential for true BYOD is huge for our school due to limited computer labs etc.  We do have most students coming to school with a smart phone of some sort, but many are still reluctant to bring a laptop, ipad etc due to parents' concerns about security for their expensive devices, and the fact that our current wireless capabilities are quite limited.

    We are really wanting to access the benefits of students bringing their own devices and I'm quite interested in how you and others would recommend making an official BYOD launch. How do you recommend which devices students should bring / purchase? Do you put out a pamphlet (eg. Epsom Girls' Grammar Sschool's glossy brochure is a fantastic example), have info evenings for parents, advertise info on the school website... or all of the above and more?  How have people launched BYOD successfully and had community, staff and student buy-in? Would you recommend pairing this with a digital citizenship programme at the same time? Obviously staff PD will also be needed to learn about the different ways students devices can be used in and out of the classroom too. I am interested in the order that others have brought things out in.

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e-Learning: Leadership

e-Learning: Leadership

Exploring leadership for change, vision, policy and strategy that integrates ICTs into learning.