Category Archives: BYOD

BYOT and Digital Normalisation

Mal Lee and Roger Broadie

Having all students use in class the suite of digital technologies they use 24/7/365 so naturally as to be near invisible is critical to the on-going digital evolution of the school.

As Lee and Levin elaborate in their freely available (http://douglasandbrown.com/publications/) BYOT and the Digital Evolution of Schooling until schools are willing to distribute their control of teaching, learning and personal technology, to trust, respect and empower their students there is little likelihood of the school normalising the use of the digital and furthering the school’s digital evolution.

Rather the school, even if spending thousands on digital technologies, will remain operating within a paper based, control over operational paradigm unable replicate its client’s normalised use of the digital outside the school walls, and to meet both the client’s and society’s rising digital expectations.

Schools have ultimately to trust and empower all their students.

That is critical if they are to normalise the whole of school community use of the technology, and position the school culturally and technologically to continue its digital evolution.

The point that Lee and Levins make in their book is that BYOT- which is where the school encourages the children to use in class the digital technologies they are already using 24/7/365 – is but a phase, albeit a critical phase, in the digital evolution of the school.

BYOT – contrary to the views expressed by many – is not primarily about the technology but rather is a vital educational development where the school declares its willingness to cede its unilateral control of teaching, learning and technology and to genuinely collaborate with its digitally connected families and to work with them in providing a mode schooling befitting a digital and networked society.

It is a major step in creating a 24/7/364 mode of schooling that actively involves all the ‘teachers’ of the young – not simply the professionals in the school.

When all the students use their own personal technologies naturally in the classroom a new norm is achieved, a norm where the technology recedes into the background and the learner and the desired education takes precedence. With normalisation BYOT as a label very soon disappears from the school’s vernacular.

That said it bears reiterating that in 2017 relatively few schools globally have achieved digital normalisation – for the simple reason that it is very hard to do.

As Lee and Levins (2016) address in depth, and this series of blogs affirms the readying of the school for BYOT and in turn digital normalisation requires astute leaders who over time are willing and able to address the plethora of variables needed to significantly change the culture and thinking of the school, and create an integrated digitally based ecosystem able to continually make best use of the digital.

BYOT and Digital Normalisation

Mal Lee and Roger Broadie

Having all students use in class the suite of digital technologies they use 24/7/365 so naturally as to be near invisible is critical to the on-going digital evolution of the school.

As Lee and Levin elaborate in their freely available (http://douglasandbrown.com/publications/) BYOT and the Digital Evolution of Schooling until schools are willing to distribute their control of teaching, learning and personal technology, to trust, respect and empower their students there is little likelihood of the school normalising the use of the digital and furthering the school’s digital evolution.

Rather the school, even if spending thousands on digital technologies, will remain operating within a paper based, control over operational paradigm unable replicate its client’s normalised use of the digital outside the school walls, and to meet both the client’s and society’s rising digital expectations.

Schools have ultimately to trust and empower all their students.

That is critical if they are to normalise the whole of school community use of the technology, and position the school culturally and technologically to continue its digital evolution.

The point that Lee and Levins make in their book is that BYOT- which is where the school encourages the children to use in class the digital technologies they are already using 24/7/365 – is but a phase, albeit a critical phase, in the digital evolution of the school.

BYOT – contrary to the views expressed by many – is not primarily about the technology but rather is a vital educational development where the school declares its willingness to cede its unilateral control of teaching, learning and technology and to genuinely collaborate with its digitally connected families and to work with them in providing a mode schooling befitting a digital and networked society.

It is a major step in creating a 24/7/364 mode of schooling that actively involves all the ‘teachers’ of the young – not simply the professionals in the school.

When all the students use their own personal technologies naturally in the classroom a new norm is achieved, a norm where the technology recedes into the background and the learner and the desired education takes precedence. With normalisation BYOT as a label very soon disappears from the school’s vernacular.

That said it bears reiterating that in 2017 relatively few schools globally have achieved digital normalisation – for the simple reason that it is very hard to do.

As Lee and Levins (2016) address in depth, and this series of blogs affirms the readying of the school for BYOT and in turn digital normalisation requires astute leaders who over time are willing and able to address the plethora of variables needed to significantly change the culture and thinking of the school, and create an integrated digitally based ecosystem able to continually make best use of the digital.

  • Lee, M and Levins, M (2016) BYOT and the Digital Evolution of Schooling Armidale Douglas and Brown – http://douglasandbrown.com/publications/

Trust and School Evolution

Mal Lee and Roger Broadie

Trust is critical to the digital evolution of the school and achieving digital normalisation.

The principal needs to trust and empower all staff, the students, the parents and the supporting community. That trust will be repaid in numerous, very positive ways.

Trust fundamentally changes the nature of the schooling and opens the way for a more collaborative 24/7/365 mode of schooling and resourcing.

The traditional hierarchically structured school is based on distrust. It is deemed imperative that a small executive team exercises unilateral control over all school operations. Neither the classroom teachers, the support staff, the students, the parents or the community can be trusted, and their roles must be carefully managed from on high. The ethos is at root one of teachers and pupils doing what they are required to do on pain of sanctions, rather than an ethos of mutual expectation that what is required will be done because that is the job that the whole community is collaboratively engaged in.

The history of the use of instructional technology in schools (Lee and Winzenried, 2009) over the last century has been characterised by its distrust of teachers to use the technology wisely. That history sees teachers being obliged to secure licenses to use the gear, instructional technologies being ‘teacher proofed’ and ironically from around 1984 the ‘ICT experts’ controlling every facet of the digital technology. That distrust extends through to current times, as witnessed by the California iPad debacle.

That distrust might well be evident throughout your school operations today.

The distrust stymies the school’s facility to make best use of its greatest resource, its people – its salaried staff, students, families and community. All feel disempowered and unrecognised, most unwilling to put in the extra yards to assist the school’s growth.

The experience of the pathfinder schools, extensively documented in the authors’ Taxonomy of School Evolutionary Stages (2016) is that when schools move to a digital operational mode they begin to use the technology to reach out beyond the school walls, to genuinely collaborate with their parent community and to recognise and respect the contribution the teachers, support staff, students, families and wider community can make to the holistic teaching of each child. If this process is not led by the Principal it is very likely to start happening surreptitiously, particularly amongst the pupils but with aware teachers also starting to use online systems and social networks

These schools begin to appreciate the benefits of more fully trusting all, empowering them and distributing the control of the teaching and learning.

That said it invariably takes time – likely years – before the leadership, and indeed the teachers, are willing to cede some of their power and distribute the control of the teaching, learning and significantly the digital technology resourcing.

In many school settings, as the work by Lee and Levins (2016) will attest, some of the most reluctant to cede that control and trust others are the ‘ICT experts’. Yes – for many the ICT ‘empire’ has been their power base, but if schools are to normalise the whole of school community use of the digital the control has to be distributed and all within the school’s community trusted.

The principal’s willingness to trust will be crucially tested when faced with the decision of letting the children use in class the suit of digital technologies they already use 24/7/365. Is the head prepared to trust the children and parents and go with BYOT or declare his/her continued distrust by going the BYOD route where the school specifies the personal technology? Is the principal willing to trust the students and parents, accepting what to him/her might not appear be a perfect solution but which in time with genuine collaboration will not only work well but yield many other dividends?

It is a critical decision in the school’s digital evolution.

Until the principal is willing to trust and respect each student’s and parent’s choice of technologies, and to genuinely collaborate with them in the teaching, learning and technology resourcing the school’s digital evolution will be stalled and digital normalisation unachievable. While there are schools with ‘successful’ (though expensive) approaches that provide all pupils with the same device, at the root of this is the school wishing to dictate the use of certain software or device. This puts the focus on the technology rather than on the task to be achieved and denies innovation as the devices and software inevitably age. Far better to decide what human and interaction functionality is necessary for all pupils to use their devices.

Reflect for a moment on your children’s normalised out of school use of the digital and you’ll appreciate it is dependent on your trust in them to use and maintain the technology wisely. Your children will invariably respect and build upon that trust such that in a relatively short time their use of the technology becomes so normal as to be largely invisible.

That is what is wanted within the school walls, but it is only achievable when the school has created a whole of school culture – ecology – that trusts, respects and empowers the students and their parents, and values the contribution they can make to the workings, safety, resourcing and growth of the school.

  • Lee, M and Winzenried, A (2009) The Use of Instructional Technology in Schools, Melbourne ACER Press
  • Lee, M and Broadie, R (2016) A Taxonomy of School Evolutionary Stages. 2nd Edition Armidale Douglas and Brown – http://douglasandbrown.com/publications/
  • Lee, M and Levins, M (2016) BYOT and the Digital Evolution of Schooling Armidale Douglas and Brown – http://douglasandbrown.com/publications/

 

 

 

BYOT and the Digital Evolution of Schooling

Martin Levins and I have just released our 2016 edition of BYOT and the Digital Evolution of Schooling.

It is now available free as an e-book.

While building on our earlier 2012 publication for ACER Press on Bring Your Own Technology the new work addresses the rapid developments in the last four years and positions the move to BYOT within the wider digital evolution and transformation of schooling.

The authors’ have decided to make the work freely available to all interested globally wanting advice and direction on the key development.

It can be downloaded from the Professor Peter Twining’s EdFutures site in the UK at –  http://edfutures.net/Lee_and_Levins_2016.

Response to suggested ban on smartphones

Following the release of UK research by several economists contending that banning handhelds would enhance the learning of lower quartile secondary students Roger Broadie (UK) and I were asked by ACER’s Teacher magazine to pen a reply

That response is now available in the Teacher – at http://www.teachermagazine.com.au/article/mobile-ban-raises-achievement-a-micro-view-of-a-macro-phenomenon

 

The Educational Importance of BYOT

Bring Your Own Technology (BYOT) is critical in the digital evolution of schools, when normalising whole school use of the digital, and when shaping digitally-based school ecosystems.

Ideally, young people should be trusted in the classroom to use the digital technologies they are already using in the ‘real world’ to enhance their learning.

While the young, parents and, invariably teachers have normalised the use of the digital outside the school walls and have expectations of the digital, few schools globally have normalised its use and are yet to reap the myriad opportunities and benefits.

The reason is simple: it is very hard to do so. It requires each school to move from its traditional paper based operational mode, culture and mindset to a mode that is digitally based, where the mindset is digital and the school culture actively supports change, risk taking and on-going organisational evolution and transformation.

The move to BYOT is fundamental to creating the ecosystem that enables that to happen.

It is reality few as yet appreciate.

To read the full article go to – http://teacher.acer.edu.au/article/the-importance-of-byot

ACER Teacher Digital Evolution Series

Mal Lee has written for ACER’s online Teacher magazine in a series of brief research papers on the digital evolution of schooling. They include:

BYOT Savings

Mal Lee and Martin Levins

October 2014

BYOT can save schools and governments considerable monies and hassles forever on, while enhancing the quality and appropriateness of the schooling provided.

In brief BYOT, and the natural next step, digital normalisation forever removes the onus on the school funding, selecting, maintaining and replacing every student’s rapidly evolving suite of personal digital technologies.

It recognises the reality that the young of the developed world have long normalised the use of the digital in their everyday lives, have in their hands a suite of digital technologies they will continually attune to meet their ever evolving needs and wants, and as a consequence have a set of universal expectations and practises they and their parents will increasingly expect to see respected in the classroom.

With BYOT and digital normalisation the school funds simply those students who can’t afford to buy the requisite kit, the network infrastructure, bandwidth, the classroom digital presentation technology, the staff’s personal choice of digital toolkit, the website and linked digital communications suite and if required any specialist instructional technologies.

The students provide, use, maintain and update their choice of digital technologies.

Significantly BYOT will likely save many families, particularly those in non-government schools considerable monies. Their children will use in class the technologies they are already using 24/7/365, and the families will not be obliged to duplicate technology simply to appease the school.

We’d stress ‘can’ and underscore that we are talking BYOT of the form that we have defined (Lee and Levins, 2012. P11) where the school collaborates with the student’s homes and actively encourages and trusts the children to use astutely the suite of personal technologies the children are already using in the 80% of learning time outside the classroom.

Our research, particularly now we have schools that have moved beyond the BYOT phase and normalised the whole school of the digital and the student’s choice of kit, underscores the importance of the school readying itself to successfully take advantage of BYOT and having an eco-system, a culture where there is genuine collaboration with the students and their homes, and which trusts, respects, recognises and builds upon their teaching and resources.

To realise the full financial benefits of BYOT one needs a teaching environment where all the teachers, and not merely a percentage make apt use of the digital technology in their everyday teaching. The research reveals not surprisingly that if teachers don’t use the digital technology in their teaching and vitally in a way that encourages the children to use theirs the students will not necessarily bring their kit to those teacher’s classes.

The ‘activating’ of all teachers and students takes time and astute and concerted effort, requiring the simultaneous addressing of near fifty key variables.

One will thus only accrue the fuller financial savings only when there is normalised whole school use of the student’s own technology.

BYOD, where the school specifies which technology the children must acquire and use can save some money but invariably the approach carries with it a reluctance to trust, and invariably the mandatory use of procedures to control the student usage, such as expensive virtual desktop systems, the buying of specific software and the continuing purchase of proxy services.

Moreover as a ‘top down’ model imposed on the parents, that invariably duplicates the preferred technology already in the home BYOD is unlikely to be tolerated very long by increasingly digitally empowered parents watching nearby schools embracing BYOT.

In calculating the financial savings for your school look at the

  • Cost of the personal digital technology the school does not have to acquire,
  • Insurance on the technology not required
  • Cost of the software, software licenses and apps not needed
  • Reduction in the staff time spent on the help desk, equipment support and maintenance

Consider also the considerable staff time and effort spent on seeking budget cover, the selection of gear and software, the configuration of each child’s kit, troubleshooting, the provision of back up gear and the eventual upgrade the technology.

Give thought to the savings and efficiencies that come with digital normalisation and the movement from a paper operational base. For example, consider the approximate savings in:

  • postage
  • purchase of paper
  • photocopying, photocopy and print technology
  • staff time wasted on paper based 
administration/communication
  • the efficiencies and economies made possible with the digital and ever tightly organizational integration
  • staff time spent preparing and producing paper-based teaching materials
  • adopting a highly efficient inexpensive digital communications suite and opting for electronic communiques.

Many new to the BYOT concept make the claim that the school has to spend considerable money readying the school’s infrastructure.

The experiences of and research with the pathfinder schools doesn’t bear that out. Yes if a school succeeds in getting every child and teacher to use the suite of digital technologies naturally across the school it will need ample and increasing bandwidth, ever denser campus wide Wi-Fi and apposite support technology but any school wanting the all pervasive use of the digital technology will need that anyway.

Tellingly by every child having in their hands the technology they use 24/7/365 the school positions itself forever to

  • provide an ever higher order mode of learning and teaching, and continually enhance learning
  • better individualise each child’s learning, teaching and assessment
  • teach anywhere, anytime, 24/7/365
  • achieve ever greater efficiencies, economies and synergies in the teaching, assessment, communication and administration
  • accrue ever more savings
  • remove the burden on the school of providing the apposite current suite of digital technologies for each child.

Tellingly the genuine collaboration with the school’s community that accompanies the successful uptake of BYOT invariably brings with it considerable unintended additional ‘riches’. Many of those riches will be in the form of markedly increased social capital but in virtually all the schools studied the school received unanticipated material windfalls. One state school for example had an ex student give the school $30,000 in case there were students in need of support.

While rightly one can say the ‘savings’ came from the collaboration rather than BYOT per se but the point remains that when schools are prepared to genuinely collaborate with their communities, to pool resources, to trust, respect and recognise the parent’s contribution they position themselves to forever acquire significant additional resources.

BYOT reflects a historic shift in the financing of the student’s personal digital technologies and in removing that burden from schools people will in a few years ask why didn’t we make the obvious change earlier.

BYOT Savings