In our district we continue to plan for the inevitable…BYOD. Bring your own device. Allowing students and staff to bring in their laptops, tablets, netbooks, and phones and using school system connectivity. To plan for it, we completed a massive upgrade of our wireless LANs at each school, adding about 40-50 N WAPs to each school. Now we have pretty good connectivity, including ‘guest access’ which is just to the internet and not on our network.
So now what? Do we just open the flood gates? And if so, who deals with troubleshooting to get these devices online? My staff cannot, as we’re not at each school everyday. Teachers? Some could, but some could not, even with training. This is one of the large issues, as we do not want the technical side of things to bog down the educational opportunity.
And speaking of–if students bring in their own devices, does that just improve achievement, maybe through osmosis? No. What is the educational benefit? Again, some teachers will just roll with this. In other classrooms, students having devices will just be a distraction. If teachers cannot control the class without devices, what happens when many of them bring in their own?
Just some thinking out loud, but showing where we currently find ourselves. We continue to move down this path, but we are not sure where that will lead us. We want to make sure we provide the infrastructure needed, but now we need to focus on the PD side of things.