BYOD Policy vs. BYOD Learning Environment

BYOD Policy vs. BYOD Learning Environment

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:

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.

Image: Personal Learning Environment, a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share-Alike (2.0) image from adesigna’s photostream


  1. You’ve hit on a crucial aspect to BYOD ‘initiatives.’ Moving from the concept, the policy, to the reality of an actual learning environment requires leadership and a clearly articulated plan. The plan needs to be monitored and measured.

  2. This is clear and concise. I have heard much about BYOD in recent months and I worry a little that the tail will wag the dog. I think, like Dan, this has hit the nail on the head. There is so much more to BYOD for learning than simply saying “here is our policy”. I put some inital thoughts on this a couple of weeks ago on my own blog ( in reaction to some of my own concerns. I suspect that even in this short space of time, my own position has shifted slightly from what I wrote but what continues to ring clear is the need to carefully (which doesn’t mean as slow as a snail) look at how BYOD is implemented and why it is being implemented.



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