BYOD hinders more than helps

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BYOD hinders more than helps

Courtney Bohnert

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Instead of providing a growing school and community with new (and functioning) technology,  our district instead told us to provide our own. They have set up a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) stating that students will be encouraged to bring their own laptops, tablets, etc. for school purposes. I have many problems with this implication, but I will limit myself to three.

1. As I have already stated, our school, district, community and city is growing significantly. I believe that this is a good reason to upgrade (or at least replace) our hardly-functioning, outdated and, most importantly, slow computers. I fully understand that I am by no means required to bring my own laptop or tablet. Then again, if I don’t, I get the privilege of using a laptop that takes at minimum 15 minutes to start. That doesn’t seem quite fair.

2. Personally, I do not feel comfortable bringing my own laptop or tablet to a school of over 1,300 students, especially after reading “The school/District will not be held financially responsible for lost, stolen or damaged devices, nor are school administrators responsible for investigating lost/stolen devices”, stated on the districts guidelines for the policy.They are putting full liability and trust in the hands of students who still have to use plastic sporks periodically because we throw away silverware.

3. Finally, the guidelines of BYOD are unclear. If the district categorizes a smartphone as a legitimate device for BYOD, how can a teacher accurately monitor that? How can a teacher really differentiate between texting and participating in class? The guidelines for this policy are too fuzzy to be taken seriously.

As I have said perhaps too many times, we are a growing district. Tricking students out of something as essential as technology is absurd. If the district set a annual budget for upgrading, replacing and repairing our laptops and computers, I don’t think we would have ever been put in a ridiculous position like this. Nice try, De Soto, but I’m going to have to recommend a reconsideration.

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