Schools on Path to ‘Bring Your Own Device’ Environment

The school district’s policy on electronic devices is in the process of being updated.
Assistant Superintendent Andy Corey updated the School Board at its Tuesday, Sept. 24 meeting on the district’s “Acceptable Use Policy” for electronic devices. The update would allow the district to become a “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) environment.
“Our district over the last two years has been taking steps to increase our bandwidth, further integrate technology into our curriculum, and set the foundation for Londonderry to utilize a BYOD environment,” he said. Work by the information technology department and the curriculum office led to the update presented.

“We are now ready to take the next steps in this process after consulting with legal counsel,” Corey said.
He said teachers would be able to use their personal devices through both the district network and a newly developed guest network.
“We have the appropriate security capabilities, and anyone accessing either network will go through the district filtering system,” he said. “From September to January, the IT (information technology) Department will monitor the traffic flow on our network while completing the installation of a new server that will allow remote access to all files for all staff. Students, in January, will be able to access the guest network while in school, and remotely access their files.”
He added that during the second semester, the IT Department would begin increasing wireless access points at the elementary level.
“At this time, we do not envision allowing elementary (Kindergarten- Grade 5) students to bring their own device,” Corey said. “But we intend to gather the data from the kindergarten and first grade iPad pilots to determine the most fiscally prudent yet instructionally sound approach to increasing the integration of technology to enhance the delivery of instruction at the elementary level.”
Corey said the policy supports the goals and objectives identified in the district’s strategic plan. The rollout of this technology and the increase in both bandwidth and remote access points were discussed at the Curriculum Coordinating Council and were identified in the operating budget and lease purchases during the Fiscal Year 14 budget discussions.
“Our building principals will be asked to provide input specifically on the areas where they believe technology can enhance instruction in their building,” he added.
Corey said the majority of the policy is not new. New wording includes the definition and purpose of “Digital Technology” as “any device that creates, transmits or accesses digital information, whether connected to the network or used in a stand-alone situation.” A section on email states that all emails created by an employee of a government unit are public record, even deleted messages, and are required to be archived.
“Faculty and staff or students must not subscribe to mass electronic e-mails or chain letters, jokes of the day, horoscopes, etc., as they take up a lot of network space,” he noted.
The proposed policy change also states that students “are not allowed to access non-school email accounts and says that school email accounts are not to be used to bully or harass or threaten an individual or organization.”
Corey said the policy had been vetted by the district’s lawyer.
The board unanimously accepted the first reading of the policy.

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