The educators at Brabham Middle School are excited to send this announcement home to our students’ parents and guardians. We understand that technology brings to us tools of communication, creation, and problem-solving. We also understand the tremendous role technology plays in helping to prepare 21st century learners for the jobs of the future. That is why we are attempting to utilize technology in new and innovative ways in our classrooms.
A group of teachers have volunteered to begin a part of what is commonly called BYOD or BYOT. This acronym simply stands for “Bring Your Own Device/Technology”. The purpose of BYOD is to allow students to bring their own technology devices into the classroom for instructional purposes. We realize many students already have cell phones, laptops, eReaders, or other wifi devices, and it makes good sense for us to allow them to use these devices to enhance instruction.
This spring of 2012 is a trial period for our campus, and we want to learn how to best use student owned (as well as school supplied) technologies in our classroom instruction. Because we realize this will be a learning process for all involved, we are containing the BYOD to only the following teachers classrooms: Ayers, Broome, Clay, Coyle, Cullum, Cummins, Currey, Dusold, Finley, Greer, Koseluk, Newman, Peters, Richter, and Taylor. A student in these classes will be allowed to bring technology such as cell phones, tablets, or laptops to access information on the internet or to use communication and collaborative tools when approved by the teacher for instructional purposes.
With the opportunity that accompanies this endeavor, we also realize there may be challenges. Technological devices may be subject to wear and tear just as other school supplies, personal items, and textbooks. For this reason, we encourage the use of appropriate covers, cases, and protective accessories. Please note that our campus staff will not assume responsibility for any losses associated with BYOD, neither will students be asked to share their personal devices with another user. Additionally, we want to ensure that technology use remains within the realm of behaviors approved by our district board policies including the code of conduct, student handbook, and the technology acceptable use policy. The student code of conduct states,
“Students shall not display, turn on, or use a telecommunications device, including a cellular telephone or other electronic device on school property during the school day unless the device is being used for academic reasons under the direct supervision of a teacher.”
On occasion students may be allowed to bring MP3 players or eReaders for casual use in classes other than the classrooms listed above, and that usage is fine when allowed by the teacher under the supervision of the teacher. We want to be clear that unauthorized or irresponsible usage may result in consequences such as loss of usage rights or even confiscation. This is the current protocol and will remain unchanged.
It is important to stress that BYOD is invitational and not directive, and our teachers are planning and preparing with this in mind. Just like other personal belongings, students are responsible for their own devices, if they bring them to school.