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New Podcast: School Leaders Share: BYOD policies & Digital Skill Development

Last month, Firefly hosted two roadshows — one in Blackheath and one in Chester. We had so many great conversations with schools about how they are driving the modern learning experience. This post captures a few of the highlights from both days and pairs with a podcast we recently released.

Taking a lead in the Modern Learning Experience

The modern learning experience isn’t just about technology. It is about personalisation and potential. That said, it looms large in many education conversations today. Much of our discussion centred on how technology is impacting education 

From all of the chat, a couple themes rose to the top: 1) mobile devices & BYOD policies and 2) developing students’ digital skills. 

Essential Questions

- How are schools making the most of students’ mobile devices?

- What are schools doing to help students develop digital skills for their personal and professional futures?

At 1:28To BYOD or Not to BYOD: Making the Most of Personal Devices 

“They can use their phones in class if their teacher allows them to...” 

In our conversations, most schools had clear expectations for when students could and couldn’t use their devices.  Some allowed them for academic purposes in class with teacher permission; others also allowed devices to be used during breaks and lunch. 

While the policies that schools enact need to be plain and straightforward, the question behind the policies is nuanced: How will your personal device policy balance the risks of distraction and privacy with the opportunities for equity and learning?

At 6:44Digital Skills for the Future: Preparing Students Personally & Professionally  

“When we teach e-safety, it’s not just seen as a computing thing.” 

Every teacher teaches literacy.  You’ve probably heard some version of this statement, and I think it serves a purpose for the modern learning experience: every teacher teaches digital literacy. Schools that are actively involving every teacher to teach digital literacy are offering students a critical foundation for their future.

“It’s making sure that a student will always be better by year 10 or 11 on their own tech to access their learning.” 

Many of our schools are taking the long view on digital literacy. They are thinking about the vertical alignment and spiraling of specific digital skills and tools. In the short term, these skills help students be academically successful at school. But students can leave our schools with something more: the ability to create and craft a digital landscape that both grounds and rounds them.

At 10:21Final Thoughts & Next Steps

“It’s worth it if schools are willing to be proactive and take a lead in the conversation.”

The technology landscape has changed dramatically from my time as a student to my time as a classroom teacher. While my experience as a student including learning basic productivity and doing online research, I have seen the transformative possibilities of a technology rich environment in my teaching. Teachers can innovate in traditional subjects, and schools can provide cutting edge courses like robotics and coding.


How is your school engaging with technology? Drop us an email at, we’d love to continue the discussion in one of our next podcasts.

Don't want to miss out on our next one? You can follow this podcast on Spotify by clicking here.

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