Are you BYOD’ing in 2015?

If you are looking for a trend that is here to stay then look no further than BYOD. BYOD – which is short for Bring Your Own Device – has been gaining some traction in the workplace for some time now. However in the last few years, Australian schools have also embraced the BYOD trend and it is now becoming increasingly common in both primary and secondary public and private schools Australia-wide.

When BYOD is done well, it can be empowering for both the student and the school. The student (and their family) ‘takes charge’ of the technology by choosing and managing a device that best suits their needs. This allows the school to focus on what they do best – engaging our kids and preparing them for our 21st Century world.

But let’s not sugarcoat it – BYOD means money out of parent’s pockets – and usually in January which is probably the worst time of year for parents still recovering from Christmas! So here are my top 5 tips to make sure your BYOD investment is a successful one:

  1. Before you purchase make sure you understand whether there is a preferred platform in use at your child’s school e.g. Apple or Android. Many schools will provide a list of recommended devices but if yours doesn’t, it’s best to ask before you spend on any technology
  2. Understand what support, if any, is offered by the school. Do kids have to troubleshoot problems themselves? If there is no support on offer, I highly recommend parents (or an older sibling) investing time in understanding how the device works
  3. Don’t buy a cellular device – a device that requires its own plan. Not only are cellular plans expensive, it means your child will be able to access social media & other ‘taboo’ sites that most school networks will restrict
  4. Learn about and understand tethering – a process that allows you to use your smartphone as a modem so you can connect another device to the Internet. If your kids have a smartphone with data they can do this in a matter of seconds. While this is a super handy feature, it means they could run up large bills and also have an unlimited internet searching experience – so make sure you fully investigate the options
  5. Protection! Always insure the device – no excuses. It is also worth investing in comprehensive Internet security software. McAfee’s LiveSafe will provide protection for all your devices (including mobile phones & tablets) from just $129.95

And if there was ever a reason for parents to get involved in the digital world – it’s BYOD. BYOD means the school is no longer managing your child’s device & usage – it’s now you, the parent.
So, make sure you understand how the device works but far more importantly, understand how the internet works. Join the social networks your child uses, check out their favourite online games, start shopping and socialising online. To be a good digital parent, you need to understand how the digital world works so get started now!

Till Next Time
Alex xx

Watch what happened when kids took on their parents in a cyber challenge. Do you think you could do any better!? 

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