The early days
In the few weeks since implementing our BYOx program, we’ve already had huge enthusiasm and our staff, students and parents are already deeming it a success.
Our teachers have noticed that student ICT skills are improving as a result of their familiarity with the devices and, along with parents, have been impressed by the level of student engagement in the BYOx program. Improved homework engagement has been particularly visible to our parents, who are witnessing first-hand the benefits of the BYOx program outside of school hours.
As a school we are planning to offer community sessions to enhance parents’ familiarity with the use of devices, so they feel more confident when assisting their children with homework. We hope this will lead to students seeing their parents as role-models for lifelong learning, and as key participants in their learning partnerships.
One of the developments that has excited our teachers is that they are receiving more emails from students seeking clarification and feedback about their work, leading to enhanced student-teacher collaboration – and hopefully in the longer term improved student results. Already we have noted improvements in the presentation and quality of student work.
Challenges along the way
Like any new project, a number of challenges have also presented themselves along the way and we are continuing to pioneer solutions to allow the program to continue successfully.
Initially there were concerns for the security and safety of the devices as students carried them to and from school, but by specifying that devices must be transported inside an appropriate bag (as part of the package or through personal choice) this has not developed into an issue.
Upon reflection we’ve noted it would have been advantageous for the company supplying the devices to be present at some of the school planning and parent information sessions.
In the early stage of the program some of the devices worked optimally but others had some connection and functionality issues. Further familiarisation by the company with the school network meant that the problem was quickly identified and easily rectified. At the parent information sessions some questions were asked in regard to the devices that related more to the supplier than to the school, so for future information events we’ve decided to have a representative of the company present.
The company has supplied parents with a website portal for improved access to information and convenient ordering of devices.
Being a modern facility, Coomera Springs uses a wireless network and with the increase of devices being connected it is now being recognised that more Wireless Access Points (WAPs) will be necessary to allow further growth of the program while maintaining an optimal user experience.
We are confident that with this sort of future planning, we’ll ensure a successful BYOx program at Coomera Springs.