Practices in Managing BYOD or 1:1 Classes

classroom management, 1:1, behavior reinforcement, BYOD, bring your own device,

Written by: Francis Jim B. Tuscano


When I first used tablets in class, I experienced the worst-case scenario: the devices could not connect to the Wi-Fi network. My usually attentive class transformed into a noisy crowd, with whispers of “My tablet isn’t working” being heard from every corner of the classroom.

Using tablets and other mobile devices introduces the class into an even bigger world of learning. Whether it’s a 1:1 or BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) system, with this innovation comes the challenge of managing a classroom that uses tablets. As educators, we must know that effective and efficient classroom management is crucial in leading students to achieve the set learning goals.

So, how do we manage our students in the classroom? Allow me to share four big ideas I learned from my experience:

1. It all begins with respect.
The virtue of respect drives students to act accordingly. Respect should be given by each pupil to the teacher and to their classmates who are also learning. Make sure to create guidelines that bring the virtue of respect out.

Sample class rules:

  • During discussion, students should listen to the teacher or to their classmates.
  • Only allowed apps should be opened and used.
  • Keep hands off the device if it is not needed.

2. Stop, Collaborate, and Listen.
Technology allows students to work together on tasks assigned to them. We dream for our students to work harmoniously, but in real life, this does not always happen. Add clear guidelines to facilitate a smooth run of collaborative activities in class.

Some guidelines to think about:

  • How big will the groups be?
  • Will I assign tasks to each student in the group?
  • Will I give them time to brainstorm or listen to each other?

3. Protect the Gadgets, Protect the Students
Tablets and other mobile devices are considered as investments by the school or by parents. Implement rules on how devices should be handled. More importantly, teach students to protect their personal accounts. Create specific guidelines that will train each student to protect their identity and privacy when surfing the internet.

Some reminders for students:

  • Create long and complex passwords that should only be shared to trusted adults, i.e. teacher or parents.
  • Log-out of websites always, especially if the device is not yours.
  • Never answer back to cyber bullies. Document, report and block hostile accounts to teacher.

4. Highlight and Reward the Positive.
While teachers encounter unnecessary behaviors in class, developing and highlighting positive actions of our students should always be the goal. Be consistent in praising and dealing with unnecessary behaviors. Verbal praises or simple rewards are always helpful. Digital positive reinforcements – electronic badges can also be given.

Some reminders for students:

  • What consequences or rewards can I give to my students?
  • How can I demonstrate good behavior to my students?

There are great mobile applications today that support teachers in managing students. However, I still believe that the best “class managers” are teachers. Classroom discipline plans can take many forms but at the heart of classroom management is the teachers’ care for the students

As always, technology and teachers should work hand in hand to support students to become better learners.

Francis Jim Tuscano is an Edu-Tech teacher at Xavier School, San Juan. Certified Apple Distinguished Educator and Google Certified Educator. He graduated from Ateneo de Manila University with a degree in AB Philosophy and MA in Basic Education Teaching.