|Welcome to the Student BYOD Site|
This site contains resources related to the registration and use of personal devices on the Donegal School District's data (computer) network.
BYOD in the Classroom
In this decade, it is no less important to teach children how to use their other technology “brains” as it is to teach them to use their physical brains — to ignore such an obvious and powerful augmentation would be irresponsible. Certainly there are better ways to use digital devices to make us more effective beings. These better ways should be taught.
Consider for a moment that Writing is a technology — an old technology but, at the time of its introduction, a revolutionary one. Written language allowed humans to capture and store knowledge: to disseminate that knowledge beyond the natural boundaries of time and space. And knowledge is power. Today it would be unthinkable not to teach children how to read and to write — to leverage this old technology — in order to expand their horizons beyond the spoken word. By the end of the decade, it will be considered just as unthinkable to deprive children of their computational tools for the very same reasoning as we apply to writing technology.
So how are teachers and administrators to cope with the risks of unfettered online access with the responsibility to teach students how to leverage this irreplaceable technology? Look to lessons learned in the parallel adoption of desktop computers in the educational environments for patterns and best-practices to adapt and adopt. Seek tools to manage content access to block for young users, to advise for older users. Put policy and technology in place that recognizes that the devices will beyond the control of the school today. Surround the access points with security not the devices themselves. Leverage the speed of these new technologies to discover and participate in experiments with pioneering institutions in the digital world.
Beyond the Classroom
And how are parents to cope with the risks of unfettered online access at school and on the bus with the responsibility to teach your children how to safely embrace digital technologies without loosing sight of the real world? Start by supporting your local school in their efforts with BYOD and technology initiatives. Associating technology with learning in the minds of our children is an important psychological link to establish. These are not JUST tools for playing games. When you read to your children, consider doing so with both physical books and ebooks. Help children to expand their association with the devices beyond the short-attention span media that they are encountering in the entertainment arena by exposing them to deeper, calmer sources of interaction like ebooks. Demonstrate that devices can be used for knowledge consumption and knowledge contribution. Show them how you manage your work life and home life with the help of your own devices. Talk about etiquette for email and SMS in the same way that you discuss the polite ways to interact personally.
By acknowledging that smartphones, tablets, and laptops are a factual component in the lives of every human being and by embracing openly and actively in the exploratory use of these tools for both education and entertainment we are opening the door for our students that leads to the heart of the 21st century experience.
Donegal School District's BYOD Terms of Participation