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Top 7 BYOD readiness questions for the school teachers

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With education and education technology (edTech) diversification, it has become increasingly challenging for the teachers and school administrators to keep abreast of all the novel concern that education technology brings along. School administrators and teachers can love the changes or they can hate it but they most certainly cannot ignore the edTech.

Implementation of common core state standards has made it mandatory for the schools to implement teaching through the present day education technology or edTech. The examination of students, right from grade 3 onwards, would be conducted through computers. The new format of examinations prepared by PARCC and SBAC also involve use of present day edTech and thus, it is but obvious that the schools have to incorporate technology in education.

However, a bigger challenge that the schools face is the cost of procurement of technology and technical devices for education. While schools always have an issue of funds, rather than making huge investment in technology an easy way sort out is to allow students to Bring Your Own Device or BYOD. You must obtain a detailed insight of what is BYOD, its framework and advantages of BYOD for schools before you make up your mind.

Along with the edTech comes connectivity i.e. the students are permitted to go online and search global library for their education. However, to limit the curious and creative students, who have access to the entire world through their electronic device, is a huge challenge in its own self.

A challenge that comes along with BYOD in classroom is, “how can the teachers keep a check on BYOD students?” Hereunder listed is a checklist with the top seven BYOD readiness questions for the teachers

Are you sure of what to expect from your students? Create clear fair usage guidelines
Are you sure of what to expect from your students? Create clear fair usage guidelines Photo by Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

Are you sure of what to expect from your students? Create clear fair usage guidelines

Specify very clearly in plain and simple words of what do you expect from your students.

• When to use their device?
• What can they access?
• What they must not access?
• The applications that are permitted and the applications that are prohibited
• When (and if) do the students need any special permission to access certain restricted applications and sites?
• Paring of the devices – is it permitted explicitly or under any special circumstances?
• When can they access the school blog (if any)?
• Are they allowed to texting and messaging via applications or communicate through sites during school hours?
• Which social networks are accessible and when?
• What can be the consequences if the student is caught misusing the device or not complying with the fair usage policy?

Stating your guidelines and expectations in the very beginning are of the prime importance. Also, ensure that your policies and guidelines do not overrule any guidelines and policies that have been laid by the school administration or district administration.

Are you able to comply with the common core curriculum guidelines?
Are you able to comply with the common core curriculum guidelines? Photo by Photo by Handout/Getty Images

Are you able to comply with the common core curriculum guidelines?

One of the main reasons to permit the students to bring their own technology or device to school is the common core guidelines. Carefully analyze how and when you want the students to access their device. Pace your teaching and lessons and have a clear laid out plan of how you desire to use the technology to optimize teaching and education.

For example,
• you can prepare you presentations in advance and place them on your blog for all the students to access and observe while you explain the concept in the classroom,
• you can choose to give them a few questions as do it yourself, or
• you can ask them to study the presentation on their own and come to your classroom prepared with doubts and questions.

As stated earlier, the technology must be used as a tool to deliver the outlined curriculum in the best and utmost optimized manner.

Will your students be safe while they are online?
Will your students be safe while they are online? Photo by Photo by Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Will your students be safe while they are online?

When your students are permitted to go online, the first thing that you must educate them about is how to remain safe on internet. Viruses, frauds and scams, phishing concerns, identity theft, and so on and so forth are scariest demons of the virtual world. It is really important to ensure that all the students are made absolutely aware of how to keep themselves safe when they access various websites.

Do not forget to stress on the importance of strong passwords and even more to keeping their virtual identity private. As information technology emphasizes, “Information is power” and thus, “your personal information is too precious to be shared”.

What of do to stop students from copying from internet? Enrich students on digital authorship
What of do to stop students from copying from internet? Enrich students on digital authorship Photo by Photo by Photo by Photo by Pool/Getty Images

What of do to stop students from copying from internet? Enrich students on digital authorship

With great powers comes great responsibility thus, the second most important aspect that each student must learn about is how to act responsibly and respect others. They must be educated that as global citizens they ought to respect not just others privacy but also about the copyrights. Even the common core standards have laid guidelines on educating about source citation. Above all the students are being allowed to connect via internet is to be better at what they learn and not to simply claim someone else’s work as their own. There would be dual side effects of the same. First, it would hamper their learning and would ruin their moral, as teachers would find out through either plagiarism checker or through programs such as Intuit. Second, it could lead to serious authorship issues leading to legal disputes.

While they have the immense power as global citizens, they must act accordingly as well.

How to effectively implement classroom management and observing discipline with BYOD?
How to effectively implement classroom management and observing discipline with BYOD? Photo by Photo by Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

How to effectively implement classroom management and observing discipline with BYOD?

Simply, because you decided to go digital, it does not mean that you should be more stressed (as obviously, the digital devices will open doors to unforeseen issues and concerns). You must right from the beginning focus on the long-term and solution-oriented methods to resolve the issues.

• Make your own rules of not letting the devices become a distraction such as use of words like ‘devices away’ or ‘attention on the whiteboard, please’ so that the class becomes accustomed to your authority.

• Keep the simple and frequently asked questions answered in form of posters on the wall. Each time a student asks you the same repetitive question as ‘how do take a print out of this page?’ all you need to do is point towards the answer posted on the wall.

• Make it mandatory for the students to email their assignments to you or to post them on the blog as soon as they finish them. Thus, they will not be able to make excuses such as, ‘though I did my assignment, I cannot submit it as my device is down.’

• Educate yourself on how to access internet history and how to recover deleted files so that you remain a step ahead of your students and they respect your authority.

• Offer access of device to the students as a part of incentive. As and when a student finishes off the class-work early, let them go to the internet and study more about that concept.

• Define the hours of device access, the way you defined various other rules and guidelines to keep your classroom disciplined.

How will you keep yourself updated and in-charge? Educate yourself
How will you keep yourself updated and in-charge? Educate yourself Photo by Photo by Photo by Photo by Ken Stewart

How will you keep yourself updated and in-charge? Educate yourself

To keep up with the latest technology and the latest trends, be a part of the online communities. Voice your concerns and learn from experiences of others.

Subscribe to the relevant e-mails and weekly newsletters that keep you informed and updated.

Be an active user of the computers and internet and the issues that you face yourself will help you learn through personal experience.

How will you control the digital simulation?
How will you control the digital simulation? Photo by Photo by Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images

How will you control the digital simulation?

When you provide access to social media networks, learning through gamification, and messengers, etc. it is extremely difficult to take charge and keep control. Never let the focus shift from learning to networking. The e-learning platforms that you choose must be dedicated to more of learning and less of winning attitude. If possible, keep the messengers (yahoo, gtalk and skype, etc.) banned during lectures.

Digital simulations can me the biggest distraction and you need to keep a thorough check on the social media networking as well. Though, it is a bit challenging initially, if the students will be able to sense your sincerity, there is a lesser chance of them going awry as well.

Will you be able to maintain your communication loop with parents as well?
Will you be able to maintain your communication loop with parents as well? Photo by Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Will you be able to maintain your communication loop with parents as well?

Since, the parents are going to purchase the device and pay for its maintenance as well as, they have all the rights to remain informed about its use as well. It is healthy to keep the parents involved and updated. Parents would love to remain informed about what their child is being educated about, how their investment is beneficial for their child and how they too can participate in their child’s education.

As a teacher, you can use your blog or the educational software’s platform to keep parents, students and school administration informed in the loop and to share the concerns and achievements at the same time. You will be amazed when you reap the splendid benefits of maintain the communication loop.

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