The global digital transformation in education has ushered in the shift to device-driven learning. The deployment of technology in the classroom, in some cases due to the COVID-19 pandemic, has driven educators in making digital education more prevalent.
Schools around the globe are embracing mobile device learning to make the digital transition more accessible. However, simply buying mobile devices and unleashing them into your school environment can have catastrophic implications.
How are schools going to mitigate against this and ensure their students remain safe and secure online?
What technological and ethical considerations are required as a school when making the digital transition? To help identify and brainstorm some possibilities, we’ve identified the four most important concepts to consider when shifting to device-driven learning in digital classrooms.
Our four most important factors to consider are;
- Device types and compatibility
- Quality of internet connection & WiFi
- K-12 Digital Transformation Relies on Teacher Buy In
- Staff training and technical support
- Selecting a suitable mobile device management solution
Devices for your K-12 digital transformation
There are many different types of devices available and choosing a device type can be an overwhelming decision. The type of device selected is important as it impacts what can and cannot be done within your school’s digital environment from a functionalist perspective.
Prior to selecting your device type, it is important to identify exactly what features and functionality your learning environment requires. The prioritisation of functionality desired for your digital environment can better inform your device procurement process and prioritisation.
In combination with the desired functionality, selecting devices that balance both cost and durability has become a lot easier in recent years as more education-centric devices are entering the market. That said, simply due to the scale of required devices for schools the cost of procurement can be high – which can lead to many schools adopting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) approach.
The BYOD approach can ease the initial financial burden on the school in their digital transition, but it’s important to be aware of the challenges and implications for functionality that a BYOD program can have, and if this will limit the desired functionality of your device program.
Many schools have found that Chromebooks have the right balance between affordability and durability. The licensing costs are inexpensive and they are able to perform very similar functions to a desktop or laptop computer. They do however have their limitations so make sure to do your research!
Quality of WiFi
One of the most important factors to consider when introducing new technology into your school is whether the existing infrastructure can deal with the new demands which will be placed upon it.
WiFi connectivity is essential to successful digital transformation. A slow or inconsistent WiFi connection can be one of the greatest challenges to implementing new technology – especially cloud-based solutions.
A slow internet connection can cause disruptions of classes and general frustration with technology that is unable to work effectively due to a slow or inconsistent WiFi connection.
In order for your school to reach its digital transformation goals, teachers and students should be enabled to get the most out of their devices and the investment the school has made in its K-12 digital transformation.
It is vital that schools discuss their plans for digital transformation with their network administrators to ensure the network is prepared and capable of dealing with the increased load.
K-12 Digital Transformation Relies on Teacher Buy In
It is of paramount importance to ensure teachers buy into the concept of digital transformation in your K-12 environment before investing in hardware, software and all that is required for a K-12 digital transformation.
The reality of the situation is that your school can make significant investments in hardware and software, but if teachers aren’t informed of the process nor asked for their input, they may be very resistant to change.
The difference between a clearly communicated and effective introduction of mobile devices into your K-12 learning environment vs. merely implementing the devices without attaining teacher buy-in can be significant. This may vary from a drastic disparity in investment and the return on investment as a dollar value to significant lesson time wasted due to resistance of adoption to digital transformation.
People are generally resistant to change whether it’s changing from Samsung to Apple from a personal perspective, never mind introducing new technologies in the workplace that impact a multitude of aspects each day.
Change can be scary for all of us, and teachers may resist the use of digital devices in their classrooms simply because they do not fully appreciate the utility and impact learning an effective K-12 digital transformation can have on their day-to-day todo.
From reducing the time required for particularly time-intensive tasks to granting significant control over devices used in their classroom.
Staff Training and Technical Support
With this in mind, beyond gaining teacher buy-in, it is crucial to ensure that teachers receive comprehensive training on the digital environment being implemented by the school.
Training teachers on the functionalities of the devices being used in class and the features of their device management solution will make the digital transition seamless and easy for all stakeholders.
Ongoing training should be made available to teachers which will help teachers feel more confident and comfortable with the newly implemented technologies.
Well-trained teachers will be able to effectively drive digital learning in their classroom environments and have the confidence and surety to keep students focused and learning in their classes.
Selecting the Right Mobile Device Management Solution
Teaching students using mobile devices can feel like you are trying to tame the Wild West at times, and that’s where the importance of an effective Mobile Device Management (MDM) solution becomes significant in a K-12 digital transformation.
Educators and students alike benefit from digital tools and the enhancement brought to learning in the classroom environment. Digital tools can remove the manual and physical barriers that exist within the traditional classroom environment. The removal of these barriers makes it easier for knowledge to flow from educators to their students.
Without the correct MDM solution, digital tools can cause more harm than good. No MDM or incorrect MDM solution can lead to a breakdown of the learning environment in the classroom. Educators will find students are distracted and this will affect their learning in class.
Thankfully, educators have various options of MDM solutions to pick from which will give them the features and functionality they require to manage their digital K-12 classroom effectively. Whether they need to manage devices, require classroom management tools or have cloud-based web filtering, an all-encompassing MDM solution can elevate learning.
Implement a smooth K-12 Digital Transformation
We know how complex and stressful planning a digital transformation can be and we hope this article has provided some guidance on how to make the best decisions possible when implementing a digital learning environment in your school.
If you would like a free consultation on how to implement a smooth K-12 digital transformation journey, request a demonstration here and discover how Mobile Guardian can elevate your digital learning environment.
Team Mobile Guardian