BYOD Case Study: St Crispin’s School

St Crispin’s School is a slightly larger-than-average secondary school serving the town of Wokingham, England. An 11-18 school, it has 1102 students. The number of students with special education needs is about average, whilst the proportion of students from ethnic minority backgrounds is below average. Relatively few students are eligible for free school meals.

Girl with phoneSt Crispin’s was attracted to the idea of BYOD because, as Mike Elward, Assistant Head/Director of e-learning says:

“Developing the students’ capabilities to engaged in independent learning is a key element of our Post 16 curriculum and so access to technology anytime anywhere is vital.”

In practical terms, the potential benefits identified by the school are that BYOD affords greater flexibility for students to access school network resources while at school at a time and place convenient to them. Also, familiarity with device being used is seen as an advantage to the students.

At present, BYOD is going on in the form of a trial for Sixth Form (ie senior) students. Although the trial was due to end in July 2012, it is intended to continue with it in the next academic year.So far, the biggest benefit to materialise is that it has reduced the demand on existing school resources. There are fewer sixth form students walking around the school during their study time looking for free PCs to use.

The results of a survey recently carried out amongst the students indicates very strongly that technology is a crucial part of their learning, and therefore access to technology is vital.

Although it’s early days, the main lesson learnt is that thorough preparation and consideration have to be given to the technical requirements for the school network. In fact, the challenges of implementing the programme have been configuring the infrastructure to accommodate secure access to the network, as well as ensuring an adequate level of filtering and tracking of usage.

But so far the indications are very positive. As Mike says:

“We need to provide opportunities for students to be independent learners, able to use 21st century technology tools. BYOT is an obvious way to try and achieve this.”

Fuller details on the school can be found on the St Crispin’s website.