Bring Your Own Device

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BYOD

There are a number of very important considerations to take into account when planning for the introduction of BYOD in schools and businesses.

Although it is possible and easy to install a system without certain pieces of the puzzle, you could be leaving your school open to issues, frustrations and risk.

Anyone can set up a cheap domestic Access Point (AP) and plug it straight into the school network, but to do so would be a huge security risk. Furthermore, the performance would not be good; a school environment is very different to a home environment and so the result will be a lot of frustration and dissatisfaction for staff, students, employees alike.

The team at Isometric Solutions have successfully implemented a number of BYOD schemes and an even larger number of our customers have prepared their networks to support BYOD in the near future, when they’re ready. We can help your school to complete the BYOD puzzle, regardless of who has provided the other pieces.

If you’re considering implementing a BYOD scheme, one of your first questions should be “Why are we doing this?”. Yes, over time you can reduce the size of your desktop fleet, however those savings will need to be invested into supporting infrastructure, monitoring systems and a faster Internet connection. BYOD isn’t about saving money, it’s about improving education outcomes through the use of technology to facilitate teaching and learning.

From the School’s point of view, BYOD introduces a number of benefits, but also some challenges teachers must be trained to manage. It’s important that staff are supported with professional development to enable them to resolve basic issues and to enable them to find the best way to leverage BYOD to enhance and engage with their students.

For parents, who are being asked to fund the purchase of a device, we must ensure a BYOD deployment is successful and effective, or they may feel that their money was wasted.

Using our experience from implementing systems for sites such as Orewa College and Takapuna Grammar we’ve identified a number of key areas that you should consider as part of your BYOD system. You may notice that we don’t specify any devices or mention any device brands. From Isometrics’ point of view, the device isn’t a relevant part of BYOD. We’ll provide a system that will work with 99.9% of common devices, provided the devices meet the required specifications.

Infrastructure

Without a fully managed infrastructure a secure BYOD deployment is very difficult. BYOD relies heavily on a VLAN deployment to securely segregate users onto different virtual networks.

Procedures and Policies

Good procedures and policies to deal with BYOD are a must. Your policies need to deal from the initial point of allowing users to join your BYOD scheme right through to worst case scenarios.

Security

It’s paramount to the security of your network that BYOD devices are “ring fenced” and allowed access only to the Internet and internal resources intended to be published for students.

Ultra Fast Broadband

Implementing BYOD will increase the number of machines using your Internet connection rapidly.

Filtering and Monitoring

One of the most technically challenging parts of BYOD is ensuring you can identify exactly who is accessing what and from where.

Wireless

The most important part of any BYOD is how the devices connect to your network. Managed wireless systems from Ruckus Wireless have a proven history in education.

Flexibility

BYOD will place additional demands on all systems and teachers will have far more influence over requirement and direction. In our view it’s important that the system is flexible.

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