School gears up for BYOD

School+gears+up+for+BYOD

Jesse Greenspun, Web Sports

Starting in the 2015-2016 school year, Staples High School will be implementing a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) policy.

This policy is designed to fulfill the 1:1 initiative put into place by the district. According to the Westport Public Schools website, the 1:1 initiative is being put into place in order to “extend learning” and make information available “anytime, anywhere” for its students.

While the district has high hopes, there is currently a major problem with the improper use of technology. Many students are using their devices to scroll through their favorite website rather than take notes and participate in class. The BYOD policy hopes to address this problem by focusing the use of technology solely on education.

“Teachers are to use technology to enhance instruction and learning. It is not to be used just to dazzle or just because it is fun.” Principal John Dodig stated, “Just because we require an electronic device does not mean that it will be used each day in every class.”

English teacher Brian Tippy is a supporter of using technology in the classroom and utilizes it in some form multiple times a week in his lessons. He thinks that the BYOD policy will make it much easier to incorporate technology into his assignments.

“Its frustrating now because you have to grab a whole cart of computers in a class where only one or two students actually need a laptop,” Tippy said. “So next year we won’t have to worry about having to get a cart [of computers].”

Another advantage granted by the new policy will be the availability of technology at all times. “It will be easier to decide to do short activities that require a laptop,” Tippy said. “Right now, if I get laptops in the room, I will want to do a big project, but now I could ask the students to use them for a few minutes and then put them away and do something without laptops.”

English teacher Daniel Palheiredo is also an advocate for having technology in the classroom to supplement learning and already uses technology often in his classroom. Palheiredo explained, “It is really up to the individual teacher as to how much they want to use technology in the classroom.”

Since BYOD is in the early stages of development, Palheiredo does not anticipate many tremendous changes to his classroom landscape next year.

“I would look forward to eliminating paper from my classroom,” Palheiredo said. “Also, this takes away the inevitability of things going missing.”