The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Local News

March 10, 2014

Ardmore High to pilot ‘Bring Your Own Device’ program

— Ardmore High School is piloting a “Bring Your Own Device” program as a supplement to the Limestone school system’s ongoing initiative to provide laptops to every student.

Ardmore is installing wireless cabling known as Wi-Fi, allowing the school to have the technology capable of supporting the data usage from personally owned devices such as cell phones, iPads, iPods and laptops.

“The use of mobile devices ... is a trend nationwide, and many systems are allowing these devices on campus,” said Ardmore Principal Tommy Hunter in a request to school system officials to allow the school to begin the program.

Because the laptop initiative is being phased in during a six-year period beginning with elementary grade levels, BYOD will allow current high school students to have access to devices. 

“These devices have become a part of the culture and are increasingly becoming mobile computers that allow a wide variety of possible educational uses,” Hunter said. “...We want all of our students utilizing 21-century technology now and not waiting until we have the money to fully implement our (laptop initiative).”

BYOD, which has received board approval through a policy waiver, is being implemented after a committee of teachers studied similar programs at two high schools and a middle school in neighboring counties.

Hunter said meetings with parent representatives and faculty representatives are scheduled to discuss the program. He said the next step is to solicit board input about proposed BYOD protocol.

During the March 4 school board meeting, Hunter said often students’ devices are confiscated after they used them to communicate with their parents or because they forgot to power them off.

He said BYOD would only be permitted at the teacher’s discretion during class. If students violate guidelines, which recommend that devices remain in silent mode, they may be asked to put their devices away.


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