Tag Archives: BYOD

BYOD Classrooms - the School of the Future

BYOD Classrooms – the School of the Future

 

Technology steers our personal and work lives, and it’s becoming a staple in our schools as well, via BYOD classrooms. Schools across the country are engaging in new technologies that make learning easier and more enjoyable. Education is more interactive and engaging when it’s personalized, and bring your own device (BYOD) policies offer a means to that end. Such policies allow students to use their own devices as learning platforms in accordance with the teacher’s software selection.

Discover a Technology Toolbox

An effective teacher has the right virtual toolbox at his or her disposal. In modern times, this toolbox must include the best apps and online programs for efficient instruction. Many of the most popular options encourage collaboration among students, teachers, and family members. Others give students control of the content to ensure the information is presented in a way they understand. There are hundreds of programs like this; here are our favorites:

Google Classroom

  • Google Classroom is like mission control for your class. Teachers can share assignments and feedback paperlessly. Plus, there’s immense cross compatibility with the other branches of Google software: Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Each one mimics a Microsoft program (Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, respectively) and allows students and instructors to create documents online at no cost, and with an inherently familiar interface.
  • Google’s tools provide an impressive level of collaboration possibilities. Students and teachers can work together on any of the three programs, whether they are two feet apart or on opposite sides of the world. Each user can view the content and share it instantly through Google Drive. The integration is completely built and easy to navigate. The Google suite also lets the original file creator choose permissions for each partner and view changes in real time.

Seesaw

  • Seesaw is a program created for students. It works by making the content more engaging and prompting responses through each lesson. Users can take pictures, write about the material, and create screencasts. The design allows students to capture their thoughts while learning—without switching to paper. Students can share creations from Seesaw with their peers, teachers, and family members.

Adobe Spark

  • Adobe is a well-known creative giant, and this collection adds to the company’s impressive suite. Spark encompasses three creation tools: Video, Page, and Post. All are available online or as individual apps. Spark Video generates a series of slides for students to customize, Spark Page tackles web pages, and Spark Post enables students to design images. When used together, the tools help students present information in a way that works for them.

Sesame

  • Sesame is different from the other programs because its design allows teachers to assess students’ skills instead of simply adapting the content. Plus, students can capture their learning as it happens. The instructor can keep an eye on each student’s progress and provide instant feedback. Instant interactions allow a more personal approach, so every student receives proper guidance. Teaching with Sesame is much faster than collecting, grading, and redistributing papers. It also allows instructors to offer private assistance.

Teaching without technology is no longer an option—teachers must leverage these tools to create a 21st century classroom. If you’re leading a BYOD classroom, review these options and decide which ones are the best fit for your classroom.





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Embrace BYOD and Keep Your Company and Staff Secure

The BYOD (bring your own device) movement is becoming the new normal for interaction and collaboration by many of today’s businesses.

The latest report from Tyntec shows that in the U.S. more than 60 percent of employees use their personal phones for work purposes. While BYOD gives people greater flexibility and could result in a better work-life balance, it also presents many challenges for company security.

Due to increasing BYOD practices, a wide range of devices and applications are finding their way into organizations and their servers, often without the approval and knowledge on the IT department. This leads to the problem of Shadow IT or Stealth IT, where applications and solutions are being deployed without IT approval and management. Despite BYOD presenting major headaches for IT, employees tend to be more productive when they are permitted to use their own mobile devices for work, according to Aberdeen Group. Modern-day businesses demand the flexibility and increased productivity that BYOD can provide. People who use their smartphones for work tend to take care of work-related items after hours, and it’s invaluable for remote or traveling employees.

How do organizations balance the demands necessary to be successful with the increased risk to security that comes part and parcel with BYOD practices? The answer lies in closing the divide between IT and end users.

How IT Can Befriend BYOD

For a long time, IT had the final say in all company tech-related issues. With the consumerization of IT, the old legacy model is quickly eroding from the modern business culture. IT needs to stop working from behind sealed walls and try to work with and manage end users. They need to realize that tightening control over technology will adversely affect employee productivity, which is ultimately bad for business. Once IT understands the advantages that BYOD brings, they can help mitigate any threats and leverage the new opportunities it allows. But how do IT leaders do so while safeguarding company security? The views of Kevin Peypoldt, IS Director for Structural Integrity Associates, as shared in a ZDNet article, point to the answer:

“It starts with trusting the end user, building policy that protects both the end user’s freedoms and the organisation’s data and systems, and moves IT to enabling both the employee and building systems that balance access with security.”
For a BYOD policy to be truly successful, IT needs to partner with all the company’s employees. By working in tandem with the end users and gaining a new perspective, IT can be instrumental in helping a business flourish. However, without proper security measures, even the best BYOD initiatives can fail. This is why it’s vital to establish usage policies and best practices.

Ways to Encourage Use of BYOD and Secure Company Data

Incorporate BYOD policies. To make BYOD successful and reap its benefits, it is important for companies to establish usage policies. Let employees know what they can and cannot access on their personal devices. With policies in place, data will remain more secure and employees will be on the same page about BYOD best practices. MDM (mobile device management) proves to be an invaluable third-party software that will help IT keep company data secure.

Conduct regular upgrades. Today, smartphones and tablets are replaced faster than ever before as new technology gets quickly rolled out. When an employee gets a new mobile device, it is critical to remove access and data from the old device before it is handed down or sold to anyone else. IT should then install MDM software on the new device and make a record of the new phone. To prevent data theft, IT should perform regular audits to track unusual data usage patterns.

Develop wearable device policies. IT needs to be aware of any wearable devices and their implication on the network. It’s important to include wearables in any BYOD policies, such as how, when, and where to use, plus data storage guidelines. Some wearable devices are more of a threat than others, so IT should take measures to prevent potential data thefts.

Understand that BYOD goes beyond the workplace. When people are using their personal devices for work, the smartphones go where they go. That means work data can be at Aunt Tillie’s house for Thanksgiving dinner. Because of this, it is essential for an organization to have BYOD policies about the usage and access outside of work. It may even be wise to only offer company access via VPN, which will help keep data more secure.
Update company policies on a regular basis. As technology evolves, so does the essence of BYOD, and company policies will also need to be changed or tweaked to keep up with innovations. Maintain an up-to-date BYOD policy as new devices and new technology is introduced.

BYOD Best Practices

To leverage all the benefits of BYOD, it’s essential to follow certain best practices. Here are some BYOD management best practices which allow IT to secure data and help improve productivity.

• BYOD policies should clearly outline what can be and can’t be accessed on personal devices.
• Policy guidelines should be clear and compliance should be mandatory.
• Include all possible devices and their usage in the company BYOD policy.
• Policies should specify the use of Wi-Fi networks as a concern for data security.
• Policies must include clauses regarding loss, theft, exit policies, and technical issues.
• Make sure even the top executives and their devices adhere to the company BYOD policies.
• Create secure credentials for employees to use for accessing company data.

Technology is at the core of BYOD, but its true success lies with people who use it. IT needs to understand the advantages and take the necessary steps to establish best practices and policies for the new BYOD workplace, rather than trying to curb it. It may always be a delicate balance between productivity and network security, but with employees and IT working hand-in-hand to make the new normal benefit everyone, the sky’s the limit.

Spinitar wants to empower your people and simplify technology for you. Contact us today! (800) 722-6444

Resources:
http://searchunifiedcommunications.techtarget.com/answer/How-can-IT-managers-prevent-negative-BYOD-network-impact?utm_medium=EM&asrc=EM_ERU_46046989&utm_campaign=20150806_ERU%20Transmission%20for%2008/06/2015%20(UserUniverse:%201669425)_myka-reports@techtarget.com&utm_source=ERU&src=5414284
http://searchcloudapplications.techtarget.com/opinion/Ten-BYOD-management-best-practices
http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/241645
http://www.cio.com/article/2396336/byod/all-about-byod.html