Alexa Di Luca
On Oct. 20, The Board of Education (BOE) met in the Staples Cafeteria to discuss the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) Initiative, which requires all students to bring their own technological devices to class in the 2015-16 school year.
English teacher Kim Herzog, Assistant Superintendent James D’Amico and Director of Technology Natalie Carrignan provided the BOE with a presentation concerning the update on the district’s goal of one to one computing for the initiative.
According to their powerpoint,“[During] Nov. 2014, parents will be advised of the specifications for ‘devices that may be purchased’… and in June 2015, parents will receive notice of anticipated availability of technological support and student responsibility for repair needs.”
The nexts steps of the initiative include parent informational sessions starting in Dec., gathering student input and scheduling the August Boot Camps for students and teachers to collaborate.
Students who are financially unable to provide their own devices will be recognized by the school. Elementary and middle school students will receive refurbished devices, and high schoolers will get new chromebooks. These expenses will be paid for out of the 30,000 dollars that is reserved for purchasing technology this year.
Many believe that this will be a positive change for students and teachers.
As found in several pilot tests, BYOD will increase time on task, expand instructional time and keep students more organized.
This will also eliminate shortage problems for teachers.
Currently, there are not enough carts of computers available for teachers to sign out for their classes. “[This] doesn’t make for seamless planning,” D’Amico explained.
BOE members and Staples faculty realize that this will be a big change for students.
This is a “shift in the way students learn” because it creates a “one to one environment,” D’Amico said.
Similarly, BOE member Mark Mathias commented that this initiative will “usher in a new era of education [in Westport].”