Tips and Best Practices for New BYOD Teachers
Has your school implemented BYOD, but you are thinking OMG? Don't panic. Join us to find out how to get the most from your BYOD environment without going crazy.

Tips for Getting Started with BYOD

1. You are the teacher in the classroom: keep control of student use and when you or anyone is addressing the class, make sure devices are not in use (on the table with screen down, knees toward me, close the lid) and remember to allow use when you need it…not just whenever 

2. Ask three before you ask me: have students support each other as you will not be able to support all devices in the room 

3. Keep your management plan in place: there should be consistent consequences in your room for any off task behavior 

4. Bring it out only when it is needed 

5. You do not need to know how to use each and every device, but you should know what it can do: students should be able to use their own device or not bring it 

6. Walk around: just like you always do as this helps with on-task behavior and support 

7. Always have a “Plan B”: sometimes tech has issues, make sure you have other ways to support the lesson or a back-up lesson 

8. Communicate appropriate use: if you are going to let students use devices when they are done with work, make sure you are clear on what they can do with devices, such as: read, work on other classwork, etc.

Five Classroom Management Strategies

1. Think about changing classroom desk set up or changing it during usage of devices to match the landscape to the activity so that you can move around your classroom for conferencing with individual students and "eyeballing" technology usage.
2. To make sure you can see what students are doing on their devices, require that they be kept flat or only slightly elevated. If students are at desks or tables, devices should not be placed in their laps. All phones can be required to be on desks during class and in "Airplane Mode." 

3. When you want your students' complete attention, require them to place devices face down. 

4. Use consistent "key phrases" to control usage issues in the classroom. (i.e. - "face down," "hands on your heads/reach for the stars," "Shut down, 5 minute warning," "100% eyes") 

5. Admit to your students that this is a very fluid, evolving process and new to you as a teacher but that you are willing to accept and adapt technology usage as a tool in the classroom. Also let them know that because this is new, there may be new rules and usages brought into your classroom environment as the year progresses and they have a responsibility to follow the guidelines.


More Best Practices for Managing a Mobile Environment
  1. Let students become familiar with web tools before using them. Allow them to investigate a little, but make sure they aren’t just playing.
  2. Review websites and resources before you allow students to explore them.
  3. Recognize students who are and who are becoming responsible digital citizens.
  4. Do not be afraid to learn from students.
  5. Model first so that students have a better understanding. Provide examples and have open discussions.

Ideas for the Classroom

1. Taking Notes
Have your students take digital notes, make lists, or put things in order.
  • Evernote: With a school subscription, you can share notes school-wide. It also does well recognizing handwritten and scanned notes.
  • Google KeepWith Google Keep, students can take notes and gather resources for their projects. It is great for capturing what is on your students’ minds. Reminders about homework and quizzes can be sent as well as voice notes. 
  • One Note: If you're a Microsoft district, this note-taking app can be configured with sharing abilities.
2. Presenting
If you want your students to do a presentation, consider the option below.
  • Haiku Deck: This is a popular presentation program for students.They're easy to share and run and there's a new version for the web.
  • Prezi: This online presentation tool also has apps to create very interesting presentations that really start off as a mind map.
  • Google Presentations: This tool allows students to collaborate on presentations. It's the easiest way to edit together.
  • Slideshare: An excellent platform for sharing presentations and embedding them on the class website.

3. Sharing Links
If you or students are needing a quick and easy way to share links with one another, try out some of the tools below.
  • MentorMob: Think of educational playlists. This a great place to share links with others.
  • Symbaloo: This is another great tool for sharing links. Students will love the buttons that will take them to different websites.
  • LiveBinders: This tool can be used to create a study platform for sharing material with students, staff, or parents.
  • Flipboard: While just on the iPad (for now), this platform is a great way to create a digital magazine of resources.
  • Diigo: This is a great social bookmarking tool. Students can share research and other links in groups.
4. Assessing
You can easily gather assessment data to gauge if your students are mastering topics in class.
  • Socrative: This is a popular app for formative assessment that pretty much runs on everything. It is a great way for determining which students mastered particular lessons.
  • Google Forms: You can create self-grading Google Forms for assessing students.
  • PollEverywhere – With Poll Everywhere, you can easily poll your students in order to gather informal assessment data. It’s a great way to gauge if your students are mastering topics so that you can move forward with the next lesson. Students can respond via text from their smartphone or computer browser.

5. Storing Files
You can use some of the tools below as a place to store and share files. 
  • Dropbox: If you shoot video on devices and need to get it onto your computers, Dropbox is essential. 
  • Google Drive: This sync tool, underlying all of the Google suite, is a must for the collaborative classroom. 

6. A Few More Ideas

School BYOD Programs

Additional BYOD Resources