Whilst we would have preferred to have had the total package in place during the January school holidays so we were fully trained and had time to test the new system, we did not receive our equipment until the second week of Term 1.
By then, we had a great number of students signed up and ready to go with their various devices.
Our biggest hurdles at the start were:
disseminating the on-boarding information to those students in the BYOx program
making other students understand they couldn’t just walk into the school with their own devices and automatically connect without going through our processes
teething problems with connecting to the internet and gaining connection for students to H: and G: drives (this was because the system was so new; revisions were being made fairly frequently within the first few weeks by BYOx staff to fix problems).
However, this was a very short period of inconvenience.
By week four, we were humming along, with most problems resolved and the majority of BYOx students connected and conversant with the system.
We now have more than 400 students successfully connected.
The department’s BYOx team were extremely helpful in responding to our problems and we are grateful for their support.
In hindsight, I am very glad we restricted the connectivity to our student cohort. This allowed us to manage a new system, which we knew little about, with relative ease.
For technical staff at our school, we have a streamlined system that is easy to operate and maintain. Basically, the following is what we do.
As BYOx forms are submitted and payments made to the school, the student BYOx participation agreement arrives in our school’s IT department.
Students are added as members of the BYOx group in the active directory by one of our Orange Card technicians.
Students bring their devices to the IT Support Office and are given all the boarding instructions and files required as well as support, if needed.
At this point, we also advise them how to download their free version of Microsoft Office and access Adobe products should they wish to pay the $20 licence fee.
Students are encouraged to return to the IT Support Office if they encounter further problems or need advice.
As students leave the school, we withdraw their group membership in the active directory.
At this point, we are quite happy with the BYOx operation, so we will extend the opportunity to all year levels in 2016.
Although the start was somewhat chaotic, it was a valuable learning experience for planning a smooth transition at the start of 2016.