Connecting dots of digital learning

Bring Your Own Devices Framework

Oak Hills Local School District in Ohio opened their high school campus to student devices in the fall of 2010.  and they developed a robust “BYOD framework” and set up a strict acceptable use policy before it launched its BYOD initiative in 2010. Oak Hill’s BYOD Framework consists of 10 structured implementation and support steps that they have documented and shared on the web, for other schools to learn from their experience. (the following content is from their website)

Why bring your own devices?

Personalization

We find that many (yet certainly not all) of students have their own devices – be that a smartphone, their own laptop, tablet or iPod Touch. They’realready using these devices, so it makes sense for us to leverage this usage in an educational setting.

Costs

It goes without saying the a BYOD policy allows a district to get closer to a 1 to 1 device ratiowithout incurring the costs of a 1 to 1 program. This isn’t to say BYOD is cost free. Funds are required to invest in a solid wireless infrastructure as well as investing in devices for students who may not be able to provide their own devices. Still, there are definite cost savings in a BYOD program.

infusing technology into schools

A Framework for BYOD

The following framework is what we used at Oak Hills. We realize that every district is unique in its own ways with its own cultures and concerns. Many districts are starting BYOD programs with slightly different approaches. We encourage districts to borrow, customize, and develop as they see fit (and maybe add to the comment section below so that we can know what works for you!).

Steps

  1. Step 1: Community Engagement
  2. Step 2: Develop a Team
  3. Step 3: Developing the Physical Infrastructure
  4. Step 4: Developing the Tools (Software Infrastructure) (KEY!)
  5. Step 5: Developing a Portal
  6. Step 6: Developing an Acceptable Use Policy
  7. Step 7: Building your Curriculum
  8. Step 8: Considering Devices
  9. Step 9: Monitoring Usage
  10. Q & A

Other initiatives in Oak Hills that are worth attentions:

eKIDs

eKIDs in Grades 8-12 is a semester long course where the student receives high school credit. 8th grade students meet every day, as in a traditional setting. High school students grades 9-12 participate through a hybrid model. Grades 6 and 7 eKIDs group contains a privileges and rewards system. Below the matrix, is the curriculum for the class. (TAPS or Teacher Assisted Projects are projects during which teachers ask for some help from the eKIDs.) eKIDs at the elementary level (4th/5th grade) is an after school club activity. The students meet regularly and spend time learning new technologies and sharing with others. These students are then used at times throughout the school year to help peers and teachers with a variety of technology assistance. More about this program : (from an article written by the Ohio School Boards Association)

Students in the eKIDs program use their knowledge to provide tech support and expertise in their school building. Teachers can fill out a request online for an eKIDs student to help them fix a computer problem or provide one-on-one training about a topic.

“The kids learn how to use programs, they create tutorials for the teachers and they actually go into the classroom to teach programs to other students,” said Farquhar, an eKIDs instructor.

She said eKIDs students are piloting the use of new devices, creating apps and discovering new programs to use in class. The students, Farquhar said, are excited and eager to develop their expertise.

Google Apps for Education

During the 2011-2012 school year, the Oak Hills School District made the complete switch from Microsoft Office to Google Apps for Education. We now use the following on an every day basis across the district:

  • Gmail
  • Google Calendar
  • Google Docs
  • Google Spreadsheets
  • Google Presentations
  • Google Forms
  • Entire Google Apps for Education Suite

While it can sometimes be seen as a long road to Google, the benefits to production and learning have been widely seen within the Oak Hills School District. For more information on Google Apps, please visit the Oak Hills Google Training Site.

To learn more about how Oak Hills Local (Hamilton) works to incorporate 21st century learning, visit : Infusing technology in school.

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