Be Odd?

A student asked me yesterday,

‘What does ‘be odd’ mean?’

‘What do you mean, what does ‘be odd’ mean?’ I responded.

‘Sir said that this is a ‘be odd’ college.’ the student explained.  I was still entirely befuddled.  My mind scrambled to consider what this could mean.  The student asking seemed legitimately interested, so I quickly decided that this wasn’t a joke.  Be original, innovative, unique - certainly but I’m not sure what I think about being an ‘odd’ college.

It soon turned out that the student had misunderstood a member of staff phonetically sounding out the letters BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).  The teacher had pronounced the acronym as ‘Bie-odd’ not ‘be odd’.

So we may, or may not be an ‘odd’ college, but we certainly are a BYOD college.

I am hugely pleased and excited to be moving fully to BYOD.  It was always part of the original plan in this UTC’s design and we are now ready to be fully up and running a BYOD service.

What is BYOD and what is the rationale behind moving to a full BYOD service?

BYOD means that, while we will continue to provide the high level industry and specialist technology which is often very expensive, we will also use high quality WiFi to make cloud based software available for students and staff with their own devices.  This has fast become the primary way in which people use technology in their learning and general productivity.  

Our online learning platform (Access Elstree) is cloud based.  We use google aps for learning so that all your documents, presentations and spreadsheets can be worked on from anywhere at any time.  No need for USB drives or backup, it’s all in the cloud and ready at any time.  It can also be shared with your staff so we can assist you anytime from anywhere.  It’s first huge benefit is how accessible and safe it is.

Secondly, it is cheaper and more efficient.  Less need for paper and no need for reproductions of the same thing in different formats. Lots of specialist softwares are increasingly available in the cloud too which means any space can become specialist which allows for more flexible use of classrooms and indeed bedrooms and kitchen tables.  BYOD allows for better connectivity between college learning and homework.

The plan is to expect that all students have a learning device with them in college by the new year.  As Christmas approaches, please get a wi-fi device.  They are really very affordable (see below) and they are essential for EUTC learning as we are an up-to-date technical college and therefore, it is how learning is done here.

Here are is a good possibility:

Lenovo N22 HD Chromebook - £100

There is also a list here of all the compatible Chromebooks which allow access to Google play (a massive range of creative and learning apps).  Click here to see the full range available at various prices.  Students can have full laptops or Mac books instead if they would like which allow for more specialist software (but these cost more).

 

Please note, we do not consider smartphones or iPods to count as appropriate BYOD devices.  We have learnt since we opened that it simply doesn’t work.  The keyboards and screens are too little for extended working and they are more often used as social devices.  Chromebooks, laptops and full size tablets are much more suitable.

Finally our canteen has had a facelift.  We have a new and improved catering offer (street food themed for maximum taste and access).  We have also decorated the canteen and increased WiFi to allow for an internet cafe where our 6th form students can go during study periods - take your device, get a drink and cookie, login to google classroom and continue working in the cafe environment.  Staff often work in there too because it’s open and quiet during lesson times and nicer than the staffroom!

If you would like any further advice on appropriate devices and how to join our network, please be in touch either through our receptionist or pop in and see our Network manager.