5 Tips for Easy BYOD Implementation

From Educator and EdTech Evangelist Dr. Courtney Teague

February 23rd is Digital Learning Day! In order to help you get thinking about ways to make the most of digital learning in your district, guest blogger and educator Dr. Courtney Teague provided us with these tips for BYOD implementation. To learn more about #DLDay, click below:

Once upon a time in a little brick schoolhouse, using mobile devices was banned in the classroom and viewed as a distraction. With time, mobile devices have transformed the way we access information. No longer is the textbook the learning guide, or the teacher the sage on the stage. Students have realtime access to information at the tips of their fingers. So naturally mobile devices are becoming embraced in today’s modern classrooms. And as teachers, we must remember: to whom much is given; much is required. Of course, the fear of students being off task is nothing new. Students have engaged in off-task behavior since the invention of playing pencil fight and passing notes designed as paper airplanes. But digital devices present new challenges for classroom management.

As a result, we must have a plan for students and their devices. Having a BYOD management plan is essential to the success of BYOD implementation.

Here are 5 tips for making BYOD implementation as easy as 1,2,3:


Wade Hampton High School educational technology department has a perfect example of appropriate BYOD usage.

The school has “P.R.I.D.E” →

P — Purpose for using device is always educational
R — Responsible use of devices is always expected
I — Instructions for device use will always be followed
D — Devices must always be using the school’s wifi network
E — Everyone will always conduct him or herself responsibly online

Recommend preferred devices

Many parents are not as technologically savvy as their children. Providing guidance to parents will help them make informed purchases. The capability of each device needs to be explained in context to how it enhances the curriculum and the types of learning activities that students will experience.

Classroom Management

Create consistent signal phrases for students. For example, if the classroom task does not require devices, say, “devices down”, and that should signal students to put their devices out of sight. If students are required to use their devices, make sure their devices are visible for website monitoring. Arrange the classroom to promote easy monitoring. It is very important that you are engaged in the same activities as your students. You should not be stationary. Create visible BYOD norms and post the norms in front of the classroom.

Have a backup plan

Have additional backup plans. When preparing your activities, incorporate an alternative task that does not require device use. Never penalize a student for not having a device or access to the internet. Just imagine the electricity going out — you should still be able to teach your students. So prepare for the unexpected.

Model good digital citizenship skills

Always purposefully design activities and lessons that use a variety of responsive websites and apps. Model how to use the applications and websites to complete an assignment. Your role is to empower students to use devices and apps to enhance their learning experience. Once students have gained expertise in using the app, they will be able to apply their skills independently to new situations.

BYOD implementation is an evolving process and is very fluid. Pay close attention to the digital needs of your students and the unique challenges they face as learners in a digital environment— if you’re willing to learn alongside your students, the devices can become an integral part of daily lessons.

Kick off your BYOD implementation with a free app download for your students! In honor of Digital Learning Day, we’re making all of our iOS apps FREE and Google Play apps 50% off one day only (2/23) — What better way to celebrate than to have some fun with educational technology? Download the apps here:

If you’re looking for more resources and more comprehensive guidance in your district’s journey with digital learning, check out Future Ready Schools. They’re a planning and resource organization that can help you effectively implement personalized learning technology in your school system. Take the pledge and commit to making your school “Future Ready” here:

Dr. Courtney L. Teague began her career as a special educator who taught students with various learning disabilities. More than 11 years of experience have led Teague to view technology and new media as essential to facilitating educational and societal change. Now a technology evangelist, Teague is also the chief technology and empowerment officer of Techknowledgey.Works. She focuses her interest particularly on projects related to the design of learning environments, mobile learning, digital equity, information literacy, and global education. She says her duty is to help identify learning needs and facilitate the use of technology to enhance learning experiences. She tweets at @CourtneyLTeague and blogs she blogs on www.TechTechTeach.com

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To be reminded why your work is so very important and for more stories and advice, visit our collection of teacher perspectives at The Art of Teaching.

You can view the McGraw-Hill Education Privacy Policy here: http://www.mheducation.com/privacy.html. The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author, and do not reflect the values or positioning of McGraw-Hill Education or its sales.

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