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TIES 2013: Tim Wilson-Embracing BYOD

Tim Wilson, CTO Osseo Public Schools
Osseo Public Schools Chief Technical Officer, Tim Wilson, spoke at the TIES conference on Embracing BYOD. He said that despite a recent referendum that will lead them to a larger 1:1 initiative, they will continue to support BYOD.
Session collaborative notes can be found here.
Wilson noted the importance of "Getting Clear About the Why!"
For many years, we have tried to standardized IT to be exactly the same because it makes our lives easier! It is very restrictive! The rest of the world thinks differently about things!

Cut IT folks some slack though, because that "one size fits all" aproach has been best practice.

They started w/ only 3 schools in their move towards BYOD with Project Copernicus. Organic/Evolutionary model. It was the right approach at the time.

  • Security
  • Network capacity/Bandwidth
  • Tech support
  • Equity
  • Platforms
  • Staff Development-How do we prepare staff to be competent to deal w/ the devices
  • Classroom management
  • Fear of change
  • Getting 4’s and 5’s on AP Exams-Why do I need to use these devices?
Wilson asked the audience what burning questions they had:

Burning questions

  • How is network capacity managed?
  • What PD is available?
  • School liability?
  • Bandwidth?
  • what pd do you do to help teachers make the shift?
  • Does the school have any liability?
  • What changes need to be made to school and district policies?
  • What are some resources for students who cannot afford technology?
  • How do you deal with devices that are damaged/stolen?
Schools know how to deal with rental of equipment! Look at

kajeet leases devices for parents who can't afford and it includes parental controls!

Wilson's vision is to get a hand-held device into the hands of all of his students. With 20,000, that is financially difficult. He encourages people to think about the WHY!

Their document is: Digital Learning for All.

Be cautious about over-emphasizing student engagement in the vision process. What is the purpose!?

Sylvia Martinez-"Engagement is not a goal, it’s an outcome of students (or anyone) doing meaningful work!"

Osseo used the "Feeding the Rabbits" approach:
  • Identify the people who are ready
  • Give the the resources to run
  • Let them run!
Below them are first followers who after seeing the rabbit's success, they will give it a try. Then there are those who need to be convinced by colleagues before they get on board. Then there's the "punching the clock" group. Don't waste your time convincing them! (Similar to Anthony Muhammad's ideas)

They started w/ high school and elementary students. If you are starting it, be sure to communicate w/ parents.

Elementary students had to turn in a permission slip. They talk about sharing in the permission letter.

Key Points
  • You MUST have a robust network! They had already invested in 100% coverage the year before they launched.
  • You need collaboration tools that will work on all devices. They use Google Drive.
  • Equity- A plan for students who don't have access.
  • 2-1 is almost as good as 1-1. The conversations about the work is sometimes better! Structure the opportunities for sharing!
  • Have a plan for teaching digital citizenship! (Resource) Here is one our Edina Teaching and Technology cohort has put together as well!
He finished by discussing the questions.
  • Staff development has been to train a few teachers to implement and create plans for others.
  • Teachers are expected to close and lock the door when they leave the classroom unattended.
  • They are upgrading their network for 1:1.
  • Keep policy vague, but change the handbook to fit.
  • Avoid making students "criminals" with your policy.
They are stubborn about printing, because they want people to share w/ Google Docs.
Additional recommendations:
  • Listen to your teachers! Get into classrooms and learn what is working and what isn't!
  • Create support communities! Be purposeful in creating methods of support!
  • Remind students that they ARE NOT responsible for fixing student devices!


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