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Palmerston North Intermediate Normal School’s vision is to innovatively blend the use of technology into current programmes, while adapting current practice to include the use of devices. By doing this, we will develop connected, life-long learners, who are actively involved in the global community.

While the staggering pace of technological innovation has brought a multitude of opportunities to the world of education, it has also proven a great challenge for boards of trustees, principals, teachers and students. The demand on boards of trustees to re-equip the school with the latest digital IT devices every 2-3 years in order to keep the school to the forefront of digital literacy is becoming prohibitive - not only in terms of cost - but in the sheer number of devices required to provide for the digital learning needs of students in each class across the school.

For an increasing number of schools throughout New Zealand, boards of trustees are adopting BYOD (Bring your own Device). This not only ensures that more students have access to IT devices, but also enables the devices to be used as learning tools (where appropriate) in class. Literature suggests that the best approach to BYOD is; to trial BYOD, plan collaboratively, consult and communicate, provide professional learning for teachers, have good policies in place, address equity and include a focus on digital citizenship. This, we believe, keeps teaching and learning at the centre of everything,

In the past few years, we have visited many schools that have implemented BYOD. Throughout this process, we have seen schools that have rushed into BYOD, schools that have made BYOD compulsory, and schools that have given limited thought in regards to policy, guidelines, and usage within classroom and school settings.

In contrast, we have also seen schools with carefully planned and well-developed strategies. In these schools, BYOD is optional, the schools have devices that students can use, and clear policies and guidelines are in place. This enables clear communication between school and home, and encourages a productive and beneficial environment with regard to using BYOD as a daily learning tool.

In the latter schools, we have seen that a blended approach to learning can be advantageous for all involved, with learning evident in both written form and on BYOD devices. In these schools, the device is seen as a learning tool that sits alongside the traditional learning tools of pen and paper. The teacher selects which tool is most appropriate for the task being undertaken, and the classroom environments are stimulating and motivating to students, teachers, and visitors.