As schools focus on developing the digital literacy of their students, there is increasing use of digital devices in the classroom. Students may be required to bring their own laptop or tablet as part of a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) programme.
In April 2014, the 20/20 Trust started a BYOD Equity Pilot project to provide families living in lower socioeconomic areas with a payment plan to equip their children with a device to support their learning at school. Families in the pilot increased participation in digital learning for their children, increased their ownership of digital devices, and achieved increased digital literacy. That project has now finished, but it showed families appreciated the payment plan that offered the ability to make small repayments, and students were more able to participate in digital learning.
The pilot ran at six schools in five geographically dispersed regions in New Zealand and the objectives were to:
- Increase ownership of digital devices and support participation in digital learning for students in low decile schools;
- Understand the issues involved in operating a micro-payment scheme for digital devices.
The pilot achieved these objectives and the lessons learned should be considered by any organisation considering the implementation of a similar programme that seek to provide equity of access. Please contact us if you are considering such a programme and we will be delighted to share our experience and lessons learned with you.
The Trust reviewed the programme and decided in 2016 not to extend it in the light of the growth of other schemes helping families procure devices for their children.