So.. we did 1-to-1 for 7-10 in 2012-2014 on IPads. Fiscally, and technically I think it was a failure. So we ended it and pushed towards BYOD. There’s a very strict, “we do not provide technical support for personal devices” policy. I’d say.. 60%??? of our systems can be used across most commercial devices, since we’re primarily GAFE.
We started BYOD this year. Overall it has had its ups and downs, but it’s been ok for the most part. The school offered a rental program, so something like 70% of our students use the exact same type of chromebook. I bought a cheap charger for the back of my room, so there isn’t much “I don’t have it charged” issues. With 6th graders we’ve had a LOT of keyboard slamming for some reason. If it doesn’t work immediately, they slam the keys….LOTS of computer repairs for that. We have a loaner program for broken/forgotten devices. If I had to pinpoint the BIGGEST issue (aside from kids breaking them), it’s actually that our students had a wide list of acceptable devices. A handful of students bought iPads, which is fine, but the Google Suite is horrible to use on iPad. I have my own chromebook that I let those kids use, but I really think it was stupid of them to let students buy devices that just don’t match 90% of the other computers, and something that is impossible to troubleshoot. I have become a chromebook master, and while I have my own iPad, the interfaces for our LMS and GSuite just don’t cut it for iPad.
My FAVORITE thing, though, is how FAST transitions are with my students. With our LMS, the kids enter the room, log on, today’s lesson is in front of them with bell work, lesson resources, and check-for-understanding. All I have to say is “Get your bell work going” and they know where to find it. After two months, I don’t have to point out where to find my presentations or catch absent kids up, because it is all online all the time. Proceduring has been a big part of it, but now it isn’t much of an issue. All of our tests are online, they offer great data, you can leave student feedback that they don’t throw away, and you save time grading. Parents can opt into receiving updates, so I have less communication home (because the LMS does it for me), and they can see everything I do and what their kid is doing. Even better, aside from things I’m unhappy with, all my lessons are finished/uploaded for next year. The front-end work was higher than it would be otherwise, but damn…next year, my bell works are DONE and assigned, my presentations are all available, my study tools are all uploaded….I’ll finally get to be the teacher who gets out at a reasonable time!!
We “evolved” to hybrid 1 to 1/ BYOD program. For the past four years we have worked with the model. You don’t save money. We need to purchase as many computers as we have kids. We don’t have good way of knowing who is going to bring their own and who isn’t. At this point it is about 20 percent or so. Or who is going to have dad’s hand me down computer that no longer works well enough so they need one of ours anyway. Also state testing requirements won’t allow for BYOD so we need machines for the testing season. I like the idea of students using their own technology for learning. We have personal relationships with our devices and stretching the purpose of our machines from entertainment and socializing to learning and productivity is important.
We have policy that we won’t support their devices. Our help desks are suppose to turn them away and say that we can’t put our hands on it. The reality is that you have a poor student who can’t get a page to load because they have blocked popups or because some bloatware security program is running in the background and won’t allow for the security certificate to install, it is hard not to fix some of the issues. It is also hard for teachers to troubleshoot simple things when they have macs, PCs and chromebooks in their classrooms.
What are some of the pitfalls? Is it an improvement? Did you save money?
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