BYOD: An Implementation Timeline For School Districts

BYOD Timeline 2
For the fourth and final installment of the BYOD series, we will take a look at a recommended one-year timeline for BYOD implementation from an administrative/district standpoint. But first, here is a quick rundown of what has already been discussed!

Part 1: Lessons learned from a BYOD pre-pilot
Part 2: Top 10 apps for BYOD
Part 3: A recommended teacher implementation timeline for BYOD

To provide some perspective, as mentioned prior, “This year, my district has begun the process of implementing BYOD in what is being called a pre-pilot, and my students and I were delighted when we got the call to be the first classroom in the entire district to have the honor.” The timeline below reflects the lessons that we have learned from the pre-pilot, and the district goal for next year is to involve teachers from grades 5 and up on a volunteer basis.

May of current school year – Email from Superintendent (and possibly Director of Technology) to all teachers
Although there have been rumblings and informal conversations about BYOD (which are vital in promoting change), it is important that district leaders place their stamp of approval on the initiative. Through this email, the Superintendent should (1) express excitement for what is taking place, (2) attach a list of answers to frequently asked questions in order proactively minimize concerns and restraining forces, (3) announce that the district is asking for BYOD teacher volunteers from grades 5 and up, and (4) announce that the Director of Technology (and possibly pre-piloting teachers) will be scheduling a face to face meeting with every school in order to address any questions, thoughts, or concerns related to BYOD.

May-June of current school year – Face to face meetings between Director of Technology/pre-piloting teachers and every school

June of current school year – Official request for teacher volunteers
Send out a Google Form, asking for teachers to submit their names for the pilot. After all submissions are made, each building principal will be made aware of his/her piloting teachers. The form should also ask for teacher input in regards to what BYOD related professional development they would see as beneficial.

July – Professional development agenda/timeline is distributed
Although the feedback of the piloting teachers must be considered when creating the agenda/timeline, here is a starting point that will undoubtedly end up changing based on feedback.

Summer 2014 – Professional development session 1, 3 hours

  • Address problems being solved by BYOD and reasons for BYOD:
    • Bridges the gap between school and home in order to promote 24/7 learning.
    • Meets students and teachers “where they are” by leveraging devices with which they are already familiar (iOS devices, Android devices, Chromebooks, etc.).
    • Takes advantage of an abundance of technology that is not being used for educational purposes.
    • Proactively teaches students how to use their devices appropriately and get the most out of them, rather than banning the devices out of fear.
  • Discuss (1) the importance of teaching digital citizenship and provide resources for doing so, (2) teaching device responsibility, (3) lessons learned from the pre-pilot, and (4) a possible teacher implementation timeline for BYOD, which includes ongoing communication with all stakeholders.

Summer 2014 – Professional development session 2, 3 hours

  • An overview of (1) different operating systems that might be used by students (2) “top” mobile applications along with demonstrations, with an emphasis on free apps that work across many types of devices and the web, and (3) ways in which teachers and students can find apps on their own, such as through Apps Gone Free.
  • Participants should also be introduced to the SAMR Model, and they can engage in a group activity in which they leverage apps to redefine a lesson of their choosing (as opposed to using the technology as a mere substitute, or “technology for the sake of technology”).

November 2014 – A 2-hour session in which participants share their successes and failures

May 2015 – A 2-hour session in which participants share their successes and failures

June – Reflection survey
All participants are asked to complete a survey in which they reflect upon the BYOD initiative and all that they have done. This survey will assist with the future practices of the piloting teachers, and also help to refine the initiative for those who wish to become involved in the upcoming years.

Special note: Throughout this initiative it could be advantageous to store all related resources in a learning management system (LMS), such as Schoology or Edmodo. As a result, (1) all parties involved would know exactly where to go for their BYOD resources, (2) professional development would be ongoing, as educators would be able to constantly interact with one another and share ideas, and (3) best practice is modeled. Schoology and Edmodo are two systems that run beautifully on mobile devices, and teachers and students would benefit from using one or the other in their classrooms, with or without BYOD.

Once again, what is listed above is a tentative timeline and it is subject to change based on input from all stakeholders involved. If you have any suggestions, thoughts, or questions, please leave a comment!

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