The City of Leicester College: BYOD Trial

The City of Leicester College are carrying out the first trial of a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) model in the city. A school award BSF ICT Innovation Award, the project involves a Y8 tutor group using iPad minis at home and at school to judge the viability of a whole-school scheme.

The project began in February 2013, with the learners receiving their iPad minis in November, as part of the move into their new school building. The first phase of the project was focused around preparation for the scheme; choosing a pilot tutor group, consulting parents and preparing teaching staff.

The second phase of the project, once the iPads were introduced, was largely concerned with the set up and management of the devices and beginning to experiment with teaching and learning activities that utilised the iPad minis.

For more detail on these phases of the project, see the progress reports below:

City of Leicester BYOD Initial Report

City of Leicester BYOD Interim Report

Here Tony Tompkins, College Leader for New Technology at the school, and the project lead, provides a brief update on the project’s progress since the last report:

‘The iPad-mini project has been running now for 5 months. The first 4 months went without a hitch. The devices were well received by both staff and students and were being used very sensibly and productively across the College.

However, we have had a number of small disappointments over the last few weeks. One device was broken in a fall and we have had a few incidents of students using their devices inappropriately in lessons. The College has dealt with this along the same lines as inappropriate use of a mobile phone in the first instance, and in 2 more persistent cases we have restricted the use of the device by removing any apps not appropriate for school, and disabling the App Store so that the students concerned only have access to work related apps.

Whilst these incidents are disappointing, the overwhelming experience remains extremely positive, with both behaviour and student progress showing significant improvements. The College will be pushing ahead with a wider rollout of these devices in 2014-2015. We are planning a phased introduction, introducing the devices a year group at a time, at two separate points in the year. In this way we hope over the next two years to get the majority of students using their own device in school.

Originally we were looking at Capita’s “Learn Anywhere” scheme and leasing the devices to parents over a two year period. But having considered finances in more detail, we are now planning to buy the devices ourselves and enter into a financial agreement with our parents directly. The finer details of this are still being ironed out, but we would be looking at asking for a larger deposit and a much shorter “leasing” period than the “learn anywhere” model, so that the cost of purchasing the devices is recycled within a 6 month period, ready for roll out to the next year group.  We are also considering subsidising the overall cost of the device for parents, to improve take-up and to keep repayment rates low.

Over the remainder of this year, we will be developing an e-Safety and Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) for BYOD iPads in school. We will want to ensure students are using our MDM software on the devices whilst they continue to be used in school, even after ownership technically passes over to the parents. Also, we are investigating setting up Lightspeed Rocket web-filtering, which will allow all internet traffic to be routed via the College web-filters even when the devices are off premises. We need to make sure our AUP takes these points into account so that devices remain compliant for their life within College. Once the student leaves College, we can remove the MDM profiles and recycle our App licences to new student devices.

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