It Doesn't Have To Scale
This post is part of an ongoing series of chapters from the book CHOICE. Please view this post for an introduction and table of contents. To keep up with each new chapter published, please subscribe.
Let's talk about the new processes and logistics needed to support a CYOD program. And all the arguments that come with it.
These arguments usually come up when first mentioning CYOD for the district...
"It's great in theory to do this, but the logistics won't work. We would need more people to manage everything."
"My school is too big to do something like this."
“Supporting that many different devices will make my department inefficient.”
The arguments boil down to the program being too ambitious.
It's a fair argument and it’s easy to understand the appeal of everyone having the same device. It makes the life of IT staff and teachers much easier on the surface.
Troubleshooting is all the same. Repairs are all the same. It's easy to have an assembly line kind of support model. It’s administratively efficient.
CYOD looks to throw most of this out the window.
Because what is the primary goal of technology in your district? Should the technology be easier to manage? Or should the technology be easier for students to learn with? The technology is to make learning more impactful and approachable for the students. Remember who makes up the majority of your users.
The switch to CYOD will be difficult, and there are growing pains. As with any new program. My advice is to focus less on the processes at the start. Not every system needs to scale or automated from the start.
Scale is great when done properly. It lets you take a process and extrapolate it. Possibly automating it so your team can do more work with a bigger impact.
However, scale and automation during the roll out phase are limiting. It makes you compromise, and it's difficult to scale down if you've made a mistake.
Go back to the basics with your IT support. Track who has the devices and track the repairs you make. This can be done on paper or a simple spreadsheet.
Have regular conversations with your IT staff, administrators, teachers, and students. Find out where the pain points are and what could be done better.
Get an idea of which devices get what types of damage, and what kind of support your users need before scaling up. Each district will have some unique pain points based on the devices and the school culture.
The more you know how the whole process looks from experience, the better you are able to scale and automate in the future. You will have a holistic understanding.
Learn to walk before learning to fly.
Providing a peak behind the curtain of the thought and writing process.
When planning and implementing a large scare technology program like 1:1 devices, it’s very easy to get lost in the technology. Everything can be standardized and everything can be automated. It’s true, but it can’t be done from the start.
There is a human side to all of this. This is very much true in K12 school district. Take a minute, and try not to have technology do everything from the start.
Have anything to add? Or want to discuss further? Please start a discussing in the comments.