The Go Go Gadget Project

Guidelines for the Effective Use of BYOD in VET Research Project

Funded by the National VET E-learning Strategy

Archive for January, 2014

It’s a set up!

Like chess, strong BYOD practice in VET is a game of strategy. Before play starts, make sure you’ve found the pieces & lined them up, ready for play to start.

The literature shows that the key components to identify include:

  • Human resources. These can include the human resource capacity to implement the project and includes determining the current level of skill & confidence in the use of technology that staff and students possess, as well as the level of understanding of e-learning practice existent in the teaching team. Is there someone in your RTO (the literature suggests that this person is best drawn from without the IT department to maximise the chances of success) who take on the role of Digital Champion for your RTO?The overwhelming message from the case studies of BYOD implementation is that it is never too soon to start engaging RTO team members in professional development – at least to ensure that everyone is at a very basic level of IT literacy.The National VET E-learning Strategy maintains a free and low cost professional development calendar of events for face-to-face and online professional development at a range of skill levels. It can be useful to engage in at least some of these activities to allow your team to begin to think about technology enhanced learning and integrated uses for mobile technologies.
  • Existing IT infrastructure. This includes aspects such as internet connection speeds, data allowances, network capacity, existing computers & servers, storage capacity, software, network security and cable and wireless infrastructure.
  • Budget. Determine a realistic and clear budget prior to embarking on the planning process.
  • Support. Get a clear picture of the support that is available to your project at all stages, both from internal & external sources.

Your teaching and administrative staff will need support as they transition to a new way of doing things. Will this come from within your own RTO? Will you need to engage external contractors or mentors? Have you made contact with the National VET E-learning Strategy E-learning Co-ordinator in your state or territory? They provide support, referrals and advice to RTOs and can be an invaluable free source of support for your digital strategy.

Strong, collaborative IT Support is, of course, vital.

Identify who will provide this. Ensure that they are clear about the vision & purpose for the project. Reports continually urge people who are embarking on a BYOD path to include the IT department or external provider from the very beginning of the process to smooth the path ahead and safeguard against technical traps during the implementation phase. It will save money and torture along the way.

  • Time. Make a realistic assessment of the amount of time that is available to your project. This refers to internal factors such as human resource hours for project management, professional development, implementation, development and review. “Time” also refers to the timeframe that the project needs to be accomplished within, the most practicable time to undertake the activity, and another other constraints (such as funding stipulations or seasonal factors that relate to the industries that your RTO serves).


Once you’ve worked out which pieces you have (and whether there are any that are missing) and laid them out in a logical fashion, you’re ready to play a winning match!  More about this in the next Go Go Gadget Grab post.

Win a Go Go Gadget!

Win a brand new 2014 series tablet from ASUS (valued at $399)!

We’re assembling a current picture of the uptake of BYOD practice in VET in Australia – and we need your help!

Whether or not your RTO is supporting Bring Your Own Device practice, complete this very brief survey and go into the draw.

Thank you to every one who responded and the survey is now closed.

 Go into the draw to win one of these! ASUS VivoTab Note 8

Win one of these (an 8-inch Windows Tablet with Stylus, valued at $399)
ASUS VivoTab Note 8


Feel free to forward this link on (go on, it’ll be good for your karma…).

“The use of personal mobile devices at school will deepen learning, will be personalised and student-centred, and will meet the expectations of teachers, students, parents and caregivers... Schools are in a position to harness students’ connection to their own personal mobile devices for the purpose of developing 21st century learning skills and for fostering digital literacy, fluency & citizenship in a safe environment.”

Excerpt from NSW Department of Education BYOD policy (November 2013)

"In a rare moment of lucid insight I was speaking to a group about why they needed to stop thinking in terms of content or technology and stated: "Educators can get easily distracted, but if you remain focused on the student and the learning process and outcomes, technology and pedagogy follows." OK, dumb to quote myself but the BYOD debate has been hijacked by technology-centric debate and reasons."

Excerpt from an email from Dr Marcus Bowles, Chair, Institute of Working Futures (Jan 13, 2014)

Why oh why?

The overwhelming message from the bulk of the literature is that good BYOD practice and policy stems from clarity of purpose and vision.

The big question is “Why?”

It’s tempting to start thinking about “What” or “How” at this point – but most articles insist that there are some important ducks to get into a row before you start thinking about the actual technology that you will be using, or how to go about using it. So, before you go much further down the path, ponder this:

What is the end game? What is the change that you’re looking for in your RTO?

Remember, at this point, it isn’t about the technology, it’s about the intended outcome.

Work out who is going to be effected by the changes – will this be staff (teaching and administrative)? Learners? Industry stakeholders? Visiting subject matter experts? Everyone? – who are you trying to impact for the better?

Once you’ve established this, it is vital to make sure your management team (or other key stakeholders in your RTO) can confidently understand the vision and purpose – and answer the question “why”. This will make things simpler for them to discuss the issue with their networks when the inevitable bumps in the road appear.

Articles written about the experiences of larger educational institutions stress that involving the tech crew at this point is a vital way to gain their support, specialised insights, creative input and technical expertise. This will help the project will run more smoothly throughout.

If your RTO is new to the BYOD scene, this is a good time to work with your IT service provider or to engage the services of IT consultants, digital mentors or e-learning champions. They can help you to develop a strong picture of what life could look like in your RTO, once you’ve made the changes. They can also save money and pain down the track.

Here are some of the “whys” that have been mentioned as reasons for adopting BYOD practice in RTOs:

A way to add value and competitiveness to my RTO
Address compliance requirements for reporting
A way to add more fluidity to the way that staff and learners interact with my organisation
Appealing to learner’s desire to work with their devices anyway
Teaching learners industry relevant skills that will improve accuracy and efficiency in their industry setting
Saving money and optimising use of existing resources

Stay tuned for the next episode of Go Go Gadget Grabs, where we’ll share what we’ve found out about getting ready to create a digital strategy.

"Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) refers to using staff, learners’ & guests’ own mobile devices (such as laptops, smart phones and tablets) to access the RTO network and possibly servers without impacting their own personal use of their gadgets. This practice might take place inside or outside the physical RTO environment."

Our definition of BYOD for the purposes of this project

Go Go Gadget Grabs!

The National VET E-learning Strategy commissioned this project to help RTOs to avoid duplicating effort in researching, devising and implementing Bring Your Own Device policies and procedures for VET. We have been busily conducting a review of the available literature on current practice in BYOD in education.

There is a fair bit to consider when tackling BYOD in your RTO.

There’s lots to to consider when tackling BYOD in your RTO.

We have summarised the headlines into a series of short video grabs that will save your RTO time.

Please feel welcome to drop us a line. Enjoy!

Bring Your Own Device guidelines for Registered Training Organisations Research Project – Introduction

We’re excited to commence the “BYOD Guidelines for VET” Research Project, funded by the National VET E-learning Strategy. We’ve nicknamed the project the “Go Go Gadget Project”. We think that the mobility and fit-for-purpose nature of the technology that Penny, Brain and Gadget were using back then was a sneak preview of the capability and adaptability of mobile technologies commonly found in RTOs around the country today.

The opportunities and pitfalls are plentiful and the aim of this project is to assist RTOs of all styles to navigate their way through the booby traps – so that they can really start to unleash the power of Bring Your Own Device practice for delivery, assessment, communication, learning management and RTO operations and compliance. All this, without impacting the owner’s use of their personal device.

Check out this first episode of Elan Telly to find out more:

Get in on the action by participating in the consultation, sharing your war stories and tales of success in Bring Your Own Device practice in VET. We’re looking to hear from RTOs of all kinds – please get on board! We’ll be sending an online survey around in the next week or two, so do us a big favor and fill it out!

If you have an example of an interesting BYOD story – please drop us a line.

And if you’re a bit hazy on the details of Inspector Gadget, here’s a little reminder: