What does B.Y.O.D. stand for?
"Bring Your Own Device" is simply a concept where staff and students can bring their own personal computing devices (smart phones, tablets, laptops, etc.) onto school property and connect them to the District's wireless network that still blocks objectionable, malicious, and non-educational websites.
Is this a 1:1 initiative?
No. Typical 1:1 (One-to-One) models presume that all students have internet-enabled devices at all times during the instructional day, often with the same device or product. In many instances, the school provides the device and it is often platform-specific (Windows, Mac, Linux operating systems). While there may be instances in which all or most students have internet-enabled devices in a given classroom, it is not expected that all students have these personal devices or that they will be required for success in the classroom. In a BYOD model, a variety of personal computing devices may be used either as part of individual, small group or large group instruction under the direction of teachers.
What about School Board approval for such use?
Last year's Citizen's Advisory Council made recommendations to the SGASD Board of School Directors to rewrite the existing policies related to personal devices in the classroom. This committee also made recommended changes to each schools' student/parent handbook to allow personal computing devices to be used in approved instructional settings. At its April 16, 2012 meeting, the Board voted unanimously to accept the new policies and handbook changes. You may read them in their entirety on the website by clicking on the links below.
Why is the District engaged in such a program?
The District's Mission Statement, among other things, refers to creating an "active learning environment", motivating "students to reach their full potential", and "preparing them for their future." These phrases refer to skills and experiences that can be created and/or enhanced with the ability for students and staff to use tools that many of us have within arms' reach during any given day. The District believes that by providing our students and staff an opportunity for teaching and learning the responsible, ethical, and appropriate use of these personal devices, students will be more knowledgeable about the risks and rewards of having so much information at their fingertips. They must also be taught that these tools can be overused and that there is a time and place for personal computing devices as much as there is a time and place for personal, human communication along with pencil and paper instruction. We believe that all of these skills are critical for students to learn when they graduate with a diploma from the Spring Grove Area School District, in order for them to remain competitive with their peers in the global marketplace.
Are students allowed to bring their devices to use at school?
Yes, students are allowed to bring their computing device (for example mobile phone, tablet, laptop). Students bring the devices to school at their own risk and choice.
Are teachers allowed to bring their own devices?
Yes. Staff may also bring their own mobile computing device, also at their own risk and choice.
Are either teachers or students required to bring devices to use at school?
Will a student be at a disadvantage if they don't have a personal computing device when they come to school next fall?
No. District curriculum will remain the same. The District will continue to purchase basic and supplementary textbook materials, computers and software to support student learning.
Can a teacher require students to have a personal computing device in their class?
Who decides when students can use their devices?
When students are under a teacher's supervision, that teacher directs the use of personal computing devices during class. In common spaces outside of class (hallways, cafeteria, etc.) each building has specific guidelines, which are outlined in each building's student handbook.
What network access will users have with their own devices?
Students and teachers will have access to District-provided filtered Internet access only, which is to say users are only allowed on the wireless network that blocks all malicious, objectionable, and otherwise non-education websites. All network users will be required to log into a web portal to obtain internet access with their personal devices. All users' Internet surfing will be tracked in the same manner as it is on District-owned devices. Personal hotspots and cellular connections (3G, 4G, etc.) are not permitted.
Can I use software, applications or programs of my own?
If you have software applications your computer and they do not violate District policy or guidelines, you can use those applications.
Will the District provide software applications for students to download on personal devices?
At this time, the District is exploring its options for providing students a reduced rate to download Microsoft Office applications. Many other applications that are commonly used in class are web-based or free to download. As curricular programs are updated, software applications may become available for students and staff to use on their own personal devices.
Are teachers required to implement the use of personal computing devices in their classroom instruction?
Teachers will be able to direct the use of personal devices in the classroom. These policies were developed only to introduce the concept to our schools. The emphasis will be on the proper use and etiquette of these devices, with the understanding that responsible use will lead to greater access to information in the classroom. This should be viewed as a method of practicing proper use beyond the classroom, thereby extending important skills to other work, academic or social settings.
Are there recommended devices for students or teachers?
No. Any device with an Internet browser and wireless capabilities can potentially be used for the purposes of instruction and learning.
Are students and teachers still bound to District technology ethics policies and guidelines if they bring devices in to use at school?
Absolutely! The same policies and guidelines apply to personal computing devices as to District-purchased computers and devices.
Are cell phones and smart phones considered personal computing devices?
Can a teacher opt to restrict the use of personal computing devices in their classroom?
Yes. The teacher directs all activities and tools in the classroom, especially the use of personal computing devices.
Can a teacher restrict students use of specific devices in their classroom?
Yes. A teacher could allow the use of laptops and tablet computers, but not cell phones.
What if a personal computing device is stolen or lost at school?
Students and staff bring devices onto the school campus at their own risk and choice as they are considered personal property. Loss of a device by students and/or teachers is not covered by the District.
What if I have a device that can access a network other than the District network?
If you bring a device with 3G/4G (cellular) access, you are still bound by District policies and guidelines which forbid the use of devices that access those networks. All personal devices must use the District-provided wireless Internet.
Will there be staff development in the use of personal computing devices?
Yes. Summer workshops have been offered to teachers for the purposes of providing guidance in best practices, recommended classroom management, and instructional integration. The District will continue to support professional development to further promote the use of these mobile devices in the school setting (whether District-owned or personal).