Image credit: http://www.securedgenetworks.com/secure-edge-networks-blog/bid/81148/4-Myths-of-BYOD-on-Enterprise-Wireless-Networks-Debunked
It was our desire and quest to create a school culture and learning environments that were more reminiscent of the real world that our learners would soon be a part of that drove change in this area. When I reflect upon how the program has evolved into it's current state I cannot help but to think about the most important change that was made recently. It was during the summer that Ron Watson, the NM District IT Director, and I met to discuss the future of BYOD at NMHS. Up until this point we had students sign off on a paper guideline sheet after which I created a username and password for them to access the secure guest network. This information was then passed on to Ron and each student that filled out the form was granted access. There is no doubt in my mind that this process limited the amount of students who opted to bring their own mobile learning devices to school. I can't thank Ron enough for putting students first! Speaking of Ron, he just informed me that we had 460 unique devices connect to our guest Internet network yesterday (535 for the week) at my school. This is fairly significant as we only have 650 students and 53 staff members. Take a look at the traffic at each access point below.
NMHS students and parents/guardians fully acknowledge that use of a personal device on the premises of New Milford High School is subject to all guidelines, rules and regulations governing acceptable use as established by the New Milford Public Schools Board of Education, Policy #2361 and Regulation R2361. It is further understood that use of a personal device is restricted to those activities as required or related to the student's program of study and any use otherwise may be subject to disciplinary action including loss of device use privileges. Students WILL NOT access websites with inappropriate content using a 3G or 4G connection. Students and parents understand/agree that New Milford High School is NOT responsible for any damage or theft that may occur to the laptop while on school property.
By logging into the New Milford wireless network, they are accepting the terms of the New Milford Student Responsible Use Guidelines. Once on the New Milford wireless network all users will have filtered Internet access just as they would on a district-owned device.
Our BYOD initiative at NMHS has succeeded and grown up to this point based on the basic premise of trust and respect. Yes, we have policies in place, the right infrastructure, and support our teachers with professional development and guidance. However, the most important elements stem from the fact that we trust our students to use their devices as tools for learning, enhanced productivity, and to conduct better research. Time is spent working with them on digital citizenship and the creation of positive digital footprints that they can be proud of. We also respect them as learners growing up in the digital age where these tools are playing a greater role in the world we are preparing them to succeed in. When creating a BYOD initiative grounded in these principles the possibilities are endless.
What do you think are the keys to a successful BYOD initiative?