BYOT for Schools

photo-3.JPGTable of Contents:

Sample BYOT Mission

Sample BYOT Rules

Sample Parent Letter and Contract

Best Practices for Teachers

Wireless Guest Network Facts

More Resources


Sample BYOT Mission:
Our BYOT Mission at is to teach our students the importance of technology in their lives and prepare them to use technology effectively today and in the future. The use of technology must not be a supplement to our curriculum but instead allow a new way of viewing student learning. Our goal is to prepare our students to be:

  • Collaborators
  • Self-directed learners
  • Flexible users of technology
  • Creative by using video, apps, etc.
  • Global communicators
  • Authentic writers
  • Prepared for life outside of school


Sample BYOT Rules

  • Students are responsible for their own devices
  • Students must use the Mountain Island’s BYOT WiFi network and not a cellular network
  • Devices must be used for learning.
  • Students cannot download apps while at school.
  • Students cannot charge devices during the day.
  • Make good choices while using devices


Sample Parent Letter and Contract

This link will prompt you to make a copy of this letter so you can personalize it to your school’s needs.


BYOT Best Practices for Teachers

  • Don’t start BYOT until the teachers are comfortable with the technology and have a plan for using it in their classrooms.
  • Always have a back-up plan in case the technology fails (network is down)
  • Obtain teacher buy-in – it’s ok for teachers to not participate until they are ready
  • Hold donation drives to collect devices that can be used by students on the wifi.
  • Start small and grow
  • Provide PD that relates to the curriculum so teachers can see how to use it in the classroom.
  • Video success stories post on wiki for other teachers to see
  • Make sure parents ‘see’ what the students are doing with the devices through pictures and movie trailers through the schools social network.
  • Hold a parent night to see devices- “petting zoo”
  • Get students involved in the support of BYOT by developing a student tech group that can meet and provide a student’s perspective on use within the school, similar to student council or the media production teams at the schools
  • Model, Model, Model!! Model what you want BYOT to look like in your classroom on the first days of school, just like you do with all your classroom expectations. Don’t forget that sometimes you also need to revisit modeling and expectations throughout the year. You can even take it a step further and come up with a mission, vision and your own classroom expectations together.
  • Treat the devices like books. Have them take them out when you are doing a lesson that incorporates the use of them and when you are not, have them put them away.
  • Have a charging station but make sure you have rules for your charging station just like you do with other classroom management issues like sharpening pencils. Maybe you can only charge once a day for example when the students are at lunch or specials. Do what works for you but whatever you do make sure you are consistent.
  • Just like with textbooks you will have early finishers, have a procedure/plan in place for those students so they are not having ‘down time’. Remember students are going to read and also type at different speeds. If students are typing up notes in a Pages document, tell them when they are finished to close their device and have another task ready. Or have options such as you can create on these three apps/sites.
  • Don’t be scared of letting students have innovate time where they ‘play’ on different apps but make sure to have expectations. When you are teaching students to learn a new site or app they are going to want to play just like you would and get to know it. Have an expectation in your classroom once you share a new app/site etc that they get 5 mins to ‘play’. You never know…they might teach you something new too about that app or site. If you aren’t comfortable with that, start slower and have innovate time during morning work or recess if they chose. Remember the biggest thing is to have expectations just like you do with everything else in a classroom.


Wireless Guest Network – Fact Sheet

  1. No Password is necessary
  2. To access the guest network – select the CMSGuest network in your WIFI settings, then open the browser on your device and accept the Acceptable Use Policy.  You are now connected to the Guest Wireless Network!
  3. The BYOT guest network does not access any area of the CMS internal network.
  4. The BYOT guest network filtering is set at the CIPA compliant level for students.
More Resources:
Lesson Plan Ideas

Solve and check simple and complex computation using device calculator
Calculate distance using a map application

Language Arts
Practice reading fluency and decoding of words with recording application
Take notes or word process with a note taking application
Expand vocabulary development using dictionary/thesaurus application

Capture experiments using video tool
Capture images from the environment using a camera tool

Social Studies
Capture images of landmarks
Identify geographic locations using maps tool

Record homework and school events with a calendar tool.


Classroom Management Ideas

Plan: Begin to incorporate the use of student devices in your lessons plans. Look for opportunities to enhance lessons that may typically require textbooks, pencil and paper or calculators with student devices. Most devices have calculator functionality for computation, reminder or notes functionality for taking notes or recording homework assignments, Internet access for research and creative tools for recording voice or video.

Expect: Expect students to use devices responsibly. Have a class discussion about what would make BYOT in the classroom a good experience for all. Use this as an opportunity to discuss digital citizenship and the value of sharing. Record and post as you normally would post classroom rules and procedures. Have students collaborate on a student contract indicating their commitment to a successful BYOT classroom experience.

Communicate: Use classroom signage to communicate times devices are appropriate. Devices do not have to be in use at all times. The teacher as the facilitator of instruction can communicate this to students with fun pictures and posters around the room, outside the classroom door and around the school building to indicate times and places devices are allowed.

Explore: Allow time for students to explore and share with each other. Learning occurs even when there is no expected outcome.

More ideas from a local middle schools:

One of the beautiful things about BYOT devices is that they are materially more easily managed by the teacher than school-based devices are. With BYOT there are no difficult multi-step, instruction-time-wasting plans for collecting, distributing, stowing and fixing. Implementation is handled by the user in a series of very simple rules as easy as the rules for taking out notepaper and pen.

As far as ensuring appropriate use, we plan to share BYOT rules and consequences. BYOT will present a temptation but, it will also empower and motivate students. BYOT give kids choice, control and easy access to learning.

Increasingly in the 21st century, the teacher is no longer the keeper and dispenser of knowledge. Our primary job as educators today is to show students how, where, and when to access that knowledge, and how to judge and use it. Above all, the job of a teacher of students empowered with BYOT is to make them WANT to do our assignments and not be off task. Luckily the presence of BYOT itself is a great tool by providing instant access to information, creative outlets, and authentic tasks.

BYOT enhances a respectful student-centered environment that keeps the focus on active, student driven, responsive learning in an open, choice-driven atmosphere. Like this!

There is no way a human without a device can customize an education as well as humans with devices can. Having the world in their hands can be both overwhelming and distracting, but it is better than not having it.

The real revolution in education will begin when teachers see how the tech revolution can work for them, not against them. Tech resistant teachers are afraid that BYOT will be a barrier that hampers their teaching but they will see with their own eyes how it enhances it.

BYOT is a subtle shift that allows knowledge to bloom. Have you seen those videos of kids who’ve been using Evernote to organize all their schoolwork for years? They automatically build on work they did in 5th grade and their entire opus of work is always available and never lost, thrown away, or sitting uselessly in a box at home. It is also a great differentiation tool for the student who needs both remediation and enrichment.

BYOT does not mean teachers will have to radically change their teaching methodologies. Using BYOT plus their regular textbook and teacher guides is a way to take steps toward 21st century skills by helping students find and assess articles right there in the room. For example, textbooks always have those extension questions at the end of each chapter like “find a newspaper or magazine article about…” or “bring students to the library and have them research…” Right now teachers have to skip those in class, but with BYOT they can do them right in the classroom with the teacher who is there to help them find and assess appropriate articles instead of having to do it with no guidance from home. With the BYOT pilot “Go to the library and research,” will become “Pull out your phone and Google!” Instant access!