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Franklin Regional to try BYOD policy

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By Daveen Rae Kurutz
Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2012, 8:53 p.m.
 

Four teachers will begin piloting Franklin Regional's new “bring your own device” program at the high school in the coming month.

Students will be allowed to bring their own laptop and tablet computers and other electronic devices to use in select classes as part of a teacher's lesson, said Brad Schrecengost, supervisor of technology for the district. The school board is slated to approve a policy governing the devices use on school grounds later this month.

The program will debut at the high school, Schrecengost said. Business teacher Roger Crider, physics teacher Richard Sunny and communications teachers Kristin Giron and Carla Roland are working with Schrecengost to create and implement guidelines for using student-owned devices in the classroom.

Eventually, the program could be implemented in all buildings after the district upgraded the wireless network in all buildings. Students and guests can connect to the wireless network from a personal device, but must agree to the district's acceptable-use policy.

Board member Kimberly Bondi, who has three teenagers at the high school, said she worries about something happening to student laptops or tablets while at school. Under the proposed policy, the district is not responsible for damage to those devices.

“Computers are very, very expensive,” Bondi said. “Several parents have mentioned that they don't want their child's computer going to school. My kids all have Macs — I don't want them taking those.”

Superintendent Emery D'Arcangelo said that a high school practice of not allowing students to carry bookbags would be lifted so that students could carry their laptops or tablets in a protective case.

Schrecengost said he expects the majority of students to bring iPads, iPad minis or other tables to school in lieu of laptops. However, those who don't bring their own device will have access to a laptop in the classroom. Each of the four teachers participating in the pilot will have 30 laptops available to the class.

“We can't insist everybody buy a laptop,” Schrecengost said. “But anything a teacher does will have to function on all platforms.”

The proposed BYOD policy and practices are available at www.franklinregional.k12.pa.us.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or dkurutz@tribweb.com.

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