Contact Center Industry News

TMCNet:  5 Ways to Prepare Schools for Bring Your Own Device

[December 11, 2012]

5 Ways to Prepare Schools for Bring Your Own Device

Dec 10, 2012 (Converge - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- Bring your own device initiatives have been exploding in schools. But not every school is carefully considering how to make these initiatives successful.

Here are five ways that schools can prepare for student devices.

1.Take time to plan and test, don't rush in A slew of school districts announced this fall that they would be an "all bring your own device district" by Jan. 1, 2013. But that's not the best strategy, said Keith Krueger, CEO of the Consortium of School Networking, which has developed 10 steps to consider before taking on a bring your own device initiative.

Parents have to be informed, instructional goals must be set, and schools need to figure out how to handle the initiative when not every student's family can afford devices or broadband access.

"All of that needs to be thought through, and you don't just announce it overnight." 2. Beta test at a school where a principal wants to try it Instead of announcing it overnight, school districts should implement a test bed in a school that has a principal who's excited about it. Then they can see how the initiative goes with a leader who wants to make it work for the school.

3. Focus on the instructional difference Some schools are slapping the term "bring your own device" on their walls, but it's not intended for instruction. Instead, it means students can use their devices before and after school or on breaks.

"The ones that are really focusing on how can this make a difference for instructional purposes are the ones that are going to see the biggest impact," Krueger said.

4. Create an equity strategy And if devices are going to make a difference instructionally, school districts have to address the equity issue. Forty-one percent of families that make less than $30,000 a year have access to broadband at home compared to 89 percent of those who make at least $75,000 annually, according to the Digital Differences report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

That said, about half of high school students and 40 percent of middle school students have a smartphone or tablet, according to a mobile learning report released by Blackboard and Project Tomorrow. That's a 400 percent increase since 2007. But it also means many more students don't have access to these devices.

"If you're going to allow a BYOD strategy and assume that it's going to be used for instructional purposes, either at school or at home, you need to have a strategy to help kids that don't have it or can't afford it," Krueger said. "starting one without that sets you up for possible lawsuits or possible criticism in the media that you're just benefiting more affluent kids." 5. Over provision the wireless network Without a solid infrastructure, though, none of this matters. Schools can have the latest technological devices and still not have reliable wireless, said Shane Buckley, CEO of Xirrus, a wireless network provider. And as video streaming continues to increase, it eats up bandwidth at a massive rate.

Students are bringing up to three devices each to school. But because wireless networks run at 2 to 3 percent of the capacity of wired networks, they don't have enough capacity for these devices. That means the access points get overloaded.

Buckley recommends that schools provide 300 to 600 megabits of throughput per second per classroom. That includes about 10 megabits per user to support online streaming.

"If you were building out a network today, and you want that network to last for say even three years, then build out 10 times more capacity today than you think you need," Buckley said. "By the time these devices get deployed, you're going to eat all that up straightaway." ___ (c)2012 Converge Visit Converge at Distributed by MCT Information Services

[ Back To Cloud Contact Center's Homepage ]


Featured Resources

Featured Report
Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations

Millennial Research on Customer Service Expectations

The "why" behind this research is simple: our clients recognize that different generations bring different expectations, varied communication preferences and new customer service patterns to the customer experience...
Featured Report
Optimizing the Customer Experience through Cloud Contact Centers

Optimizing the Customer Experience through Cloud Contact Centers

Adoption of cloud contact centers is on the rise. Findings from Aberdeen's January 2014 'Public Cloud vs. On-Premise: How to More Effectively Deploy a Cloud Center' study shows that 31% of contact centers are deployed in the cloud, and our related blog post highlights that companies anticipate their adoption of cloud technology to rise further throughout 2014...
Featured Report
Aberdeen report

Aberdeen Report: Cloud for Mid-Sized Contact Centers – What You Must Know

Cloud Technology is opening new doors for many businesses. However, it does so only when it's combined with the use of best practices and key technology enablers. This document highlights the adoption of cloud technology by mid-size contact centers and illustrates the reasons driving their investments...
Featured Whitepaper
Aberdeen report

Seven Critical Capabilities to Demand From Your Cloud Contact Center Provider

To deliver a world-class customer experience, your contact center must be flexible and reliable, while providing all the tools agents and supervisors need to manage their workflows. Here are seven critical capabilities to look for when deploying a contact center in the cloud...
Featured Webinar

Contact Center Economics and the Cloud

Together, Bob and Drew will help you understand the economic value of upgrading technology, important business and financial considerations, and how to compare total cost of ownership of a premises vs. cloud or hosted solution. Watch the webinar on-demand now...
Featured Datasheet
Zipwire Cloud Contact Center

Zipwire Cloud Contact Center

The appeal of moving services to the cloud is obvious. Cloud services offer reliability and robust feature sets without the need to implement or maintain complex contact center infrastructure. The Zipwire™ cloud-based contact center allows businesses to leverage the flexibility and cost savings of cloud architecture while offering a seamless, first-class customer experience...