John O’Regan, e-Learning lead teacher, describes the important considerations for Hampden Street School to create reliable systems that meet the needs of their BYOD programme.
John O’Regan: One of the things that we did, was we bought a lot of devices for the school and then quite quickly realised that, when we have them all plugged in at the same time, it was just too much for our infrastructure behind the scenes. We had the Ministry SNUP, and we also invested in a wireless system throughout the school that had plenty of capacity to hold what we had at the moment, but also what we were envisioning we were going to be needing in the future. And that investment has really paid dividends to where we are now, where we know we can always connect if we need to.
It’s fast, it’s reliable. Looking at BYOD, we know that students can bring their own devices and use those in the school system and it won’t be too much for the school system. We have chosen our devices and our tools that we’re using based on the learning needs of the students, so the vision is driving it. We’ve found that in our case, certainly in our junior area, the iPads have been really useful, and in the senior area, Chromebooks have been used widely. We’re fortunate now to be in the position after having SNUP upgrade after having reliable infrastructure throughout the school and through the natural evolution of technology that we’re using, we really do have very reliable systems.