Integrating Apple products in bring-your-own-device schools (including Higher Ed)


I'm curious how many of us are dealing with supporting students on multiple device platforms? What are your best practices for (for example) showing students one way they might complete a digital task using your Apple device while being able to support those who might be on those other (not-to-be-named) operating systems?

I'm envious of the Apple program schools with a single platform!

Posted on August 28, 2022 in response to Joseph

I found that my own experience with Apple, Windows, and Linux helped me manage the needs of students with varied OS familiarity. Frankly, without broad experience, I don't know that I could have been much help. In my case I had an Apple desktop at my desk along with a district-supplied Windows laptop. That gave me the essential shared vocabulary necessary to advise regarding either. When I retired, we were still in the "handheld devices barred from classroom" stage, so I never had an IOS/Android issue.

As student requests for help with their favored devices had the potential to become consuming, I did seek out students with advanced device skill sets on whichever platform and employed them as my aides to deal with many issues presented by other students. It also reinforced favorable relationships with the students I called on for help. That may be your best bet.

Posted on August 28, 2022 in response to Joseph

Being an integrationist, I strive to ensure the systems and structures we use are platform agnostic which typically means they are typically web-based. However, ensuring students have access to instructions for hardware-based tasks on a wide variety of platforms is still critical. Our school primarily uses devices of another platform for students. However, there are quite a few that use MacOS/iPadOS devices, and nearly all of our teachers use MacBooks and have iPhones.

If I have a task such as say, submitting a digital copy of handwritten work, I ensure that every teacher and student has instructions for performing this task on the four major platforms (MacOS, iPadOS/iOS, WIndows and ChomeOS). Since we use Canvas, I create a support page with the instructions in Canvas and push them out via a template to every course. You can create instructions in the form of videos or documents, and if you don’t have full control over the LMS, you can always create a website and put them there.

Posted on October 05, 2022 in response to Joseph

This is a great question! I'm wondering if you could provide some examples of specific tasks you'd want students to complete across a variety of devices/platforms. Our College of Education has a 1:1 iPad initiative for students in their junior and senior years of undergrad, once they're fully admitted to their programs of study. However, students in our introductory courses have a mix of devices. Some of them even prefer to complete their coursework on their phones. In those courses, I try to ensure that my course content is mobile compatible so that it functions well regardless of the device students are using and that the apps I use are device neutral, so all students have equal access to participate.

I also try to provide a lot of choice, so students can make decisions about how best to show what they know using the device they have. For example, they can choose to submit their reflection assignments in one of my courses either as video or as text, whichever feels most comfortable to them. They can use any app/tool on their device to make that happen. When devices are mixed, I find that focusing on tasks over apps is helpful.

If you'd like to share a bit more about your teaching/learning context, that would be great to learn about!

Question: Integrating Apple products in bring-your-own-device schools (including Higher Ed)

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