There is a big difference between having a BYOD policy and a BYOD learning environment. The former lays the foundation for a BYOD learning environment but it by no means guarantees it.
In order to shift from a school with a BYOD policy to a school with a BYOD learning environment, mindset shifts need to occur organizationally:
- engagement and learning focused
- device agnostic belief instilled
- social media, connective technologies, and open software embraced
- the Internet seen as key
- multidimensional learning space infused
All of these require professional development and a systemic mindset that such an environment is desired. The latter requires leadership. The former requires both leadership and learning.
The good news is that if you have a BYOD policy, there is a good chance you have pockets of BYOD learning environment– those teachers that only need the policy to be in place and they take off running with the possibilities. Leverage those classrooms as models for teachers and administrators to visit!
This is the foundation for professional development. It builds interest and motivation that a BYOD learning environment is not only possible but worth doing. When teachers can observe a BYOD learning environment led by a colleague, it is real. It is tangible. This “realness” helps address one of the greatest roadblocks change faces: perceptions versus reality.
While schools and districts continue to look at BYOD, it is imperative to see the policy formation as just one step. The steps that lead to meaningful changes to learning are the critical ones that follow the policy.