This week we talked about policy proposals that we would like to see implemented at our school that would help pave the way for emerging technologies. This was also a relevant topic to my unit proposal and the two kind of go hand in hand. My unit proposal is for BYOD certification for all junior high students prior to access to the school network. To achieve that, there would need to be policies created prior to implementation. A policy requiring student training, a policy requiring teacher training, and a policy requiring students to bring a device were three of the major supports that would need to be set in place. Our school already has the intent to provide a BYOD environment and has created the infrastructure to support it. All that we need are the action policies to set everything into motion.
Of course with any new policy there is inevitably concern and potential resistance to change. So it is important that the parents and community get a chance to express concerns and learn more about the program prior to implementation. Some of the valuable feedback I got this week from the twitter chat dealt with this concept. Via discussions and other information sharing, parents will hopefully see how technology implementation will better prepare their students with 21st Century Skills and make them more employable. There is also going to be a need to get some of the teachers on board with the vision as well. The best way to do this is also educate the teachers about what the changes will look like, why they are needed, and how it will benefit our students. Some of the teachers will resist this change as will some parents, but we should not let that hold up the program. If we wait until we have 100% agreement, we will never implement anything.
Ideally we would begin discussions on these policies and the transition to BYOD privileges at GCS this fall. That would allow a full year of discussion, training, and opportunities for parents to begin saving up for an appropriate device. The biggest roadblock that I see is asking parents to provide a device and then having that device either used inappropriately, abused, or maybe worse of all… not used at school at all. This is where a strong vision of technology integration needs to be imparted to all stakeholders and teachers need to be provided the proper training and time to unpack the concept of technology integration. We don’t need every single person completely on board, but we do need everybody to know what we are doing, why we feel like it will help and that we expect these measures to positively impact student learning. Hopefully we can begin the road to implementation in 2016 and I look forward to the excitement these discussions will bring.