5 key questions about managing BYOD in schools

5 key questions about managing BYOD in schoolsPerhaps in a previous era, equipping schoolteachers to succeed was all about giving them the right chalkboards and textbooks. Times change, though. Nowadays, achieving the best results in the classroom is all about network optimization. Today’s students are constantly connected, and they want to learn in a way that’s high-tech and convenient. Technology is everything.

Don’t believe it? Consider the following statistics. According to the latest research from K-12 Blueprint, 3 out of every 4 students today say they prefer studying on tablets rather than reading traditional textbooks. Furthermore, 2 out of every 3 say they would rather use their own personal mobile devices for learning rather than using school-owned devices.

Put it all together, and it’s clear what’s happening – students are embracing bring your own device (BYOD), in much the same way that employees in the modern workplace are doing. Everyone, whether they’re at school, work, or anywhere else, has figured out that there’s nothing more convenient than using your personal mobile device. Now, some schools don’t give their students that option – they simply assign each pupil a device, and that’s that. But for others, BYOD is a reality.

Implementing a BYOD policy might sound like a simple and effective step, and in a way it is – but is also comes with a host of difficulties. As you map out a strategy for overseeing mobile users, there are a few key questions you should ponder along the way.

  1. How will students obtain their devices? K-12 Blueprint noted there are two main ways – the “coffee shop” model, where students simply bring their own devices if they have them, and the 1:1 approach, where schools provide devices for those who can’t afford them. Which approach will work for you?
  2. What can you do to manage users? Do you have a strategy for deciding when and where students can use their devices, what content they can view, and so on? Mobile device management is always complex.
  3. Are you ready to deliver user support? What happens when students run into technical difficulties – will you have support staff available to help them out? This can be a resource-intensive challenge.
  4. Can you keep people’s devices secure? Security threats are everywhere you look, and the education sector is no exception. Are you ready to protect students from potential data breaches?
  5. Do you have enough bandwidth for everyone? This might be the most important question of all. The more people you have logging on, the more challenging it becomes to provide a robust network that will accommodate everyone. Perhaps the greatest IT challenge that educators face today is giving teachers and students alike a network they can use that will be functional while also cost-effective.

For help with that last part, you can count on us at Zones. We have a particular focus on delivering Wireless Network Design & Implementation services to our clients – these solutions help organizations in all sectors to increase productivity, bolster security and ensure that device use goes smoothly for everyone.

What we offer is a comprehensive set of services – it starts with assessing your current network environment, and from there it encompasses planning, design and implementation of a fully personalized solution to meet your organization’s needs.

When it comes to Network Optimization, there’s a lot we can do for you – this is just the beginning. Click below to explore further.

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