School Boards Across the Country Implement Bring Your Own Device
October 22, 2012
By Rory Lidstone
, TMCnet Contributing Writer
The practice of bring your own device (BYOD) is one that has gained popularity in a number of corporations and government organizations over the last few years. Apparently, this policy is now also being largely embraced by regional school boards across the U.S.
The Lacey Township, New Jersey, Board of Education is just one recent example of this trend that allows students to use mobile technology in the classroom. Of course, there are provisions that go hand in hand with allowing the use of tablets and smartphones in the classroom. First and foremost, students must obtain parental approval as well as teaching staff approval, allowing devices to be permitted or prohibited at teachers' discretion.
Furthermore, teachers will provide students with a list of approved Internet sites that may be accessed during class. The implication here is that students caught browsing unapproved sites will likely have their device taken away.
The Lacey Township Board of Education has acknowledged the tricky nature of allowing technology into the classroom, but made it clear that students will be closely monitored in order to prevent abuse of the privilege. Of course, teachers can't be everywhere at once, which is why Lacey Township schools are expected to set up their wireless networks with filters to prohibit non-educational use.
The district is aiming to implement its BYOD initiative during the 2012-13 school year, when it will be assessed for effectiveness. As of now, the district's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) students are acting as the pilot program. STEM students have been provided with loaner iPads which acts as their textbook. There are plans to purchase Chromebooks as well.
A similar initiative is to take place in Athens, Alabama, as the Athens Board of Education recently approved a technology project totaling $449,000 which includes LAN upgrades and wireless equipment installations at select Athens schools, both elementary and secondary. The ultimate goal is to have managed wireless networks allowing students to use mobile devices.
Meanwhile, Coal City Community Unit District 1 Board of Education is nearing competition of its 1:1 program which aims to provide every student with a tablet or Google Chromebook.
Edited by Rachel Ramsey