From the Principal's Office: Ideas for Establishing & Revising Your School or District's BYOD Policies

1/1/0001 12:00:00 AM
A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy is a necessity in a 21st century school. I am not sure deciding whether or not to provide wireless Internet access to students is even optional anymore. With more and more of our students getting technological devices with WiFi capabilities, they come to our schools with the expectation that they are going to be connected. Add the fact that municipalities like our own hometown of Newton, North Carolina are working to set up city-wide WiFi, and lower costs of cellular hotspots, educational leaders are quickly finding it difficult keeping schools a "WiFi dead-zone."

Our school district recently updated our Bring Your Own Device Policy and Procedures (Newton-Conover City Schools BYOD Policy). This year, our BYOD policy expanded to include all our schools, but it is primarily just middle and high schools that are actually utilizing it. It also covers guests who come to our school buildings who want to get connected as well.

Some of the most pronounced changes in our BYOD update included the following:
  • Change in the definition of devices. Two years ago, so few of our students had tablets, we had not included that in our policy. We now include any device capable of connecting to our wireless network under our BYOD. While we haven't had many students bring  Xbox 360 or Ninetendo game systems into our school buildings, we need to make sure all devices using our wireless Internet connection are included.
  • Clearer definition of user. This was a key revision since our original focus covered mostly students. Our new policy covers anyone who connects and uses our wireless network.
  • Clearer expectations about the devices. In our revision discussions, we wanted language to make sure all of our users understand that our wireless Internet's purpose was to support instructional use. We also wanted language that covered when those devices become a disruption. In addition we added a clear connection back to our district acceptable use policy.
  • Revised consequences for violations. Under our old policy, the consequences were clear enough, but the new policy more clearly explains those consequences, and there is some flexibility. In addition, we clearly spell out the offenses for which immediate and permanent loss of wireless Internet privileges could result. Those are: accessing web sites of a clearly pornographic nature and web sites with illegal content. We also include cyberbullying and harassment as an offense that could result in loss of privileges and any activity of a malicious or illegal nature.
  • Finally, we updated our disclaimers section to make it very clear that users would not have access to network hardware and resources. Also, our district does not provide tech support for personal devices, nor is our district responsible for any damage, theft or loss of these devices.
Now that we are in our third year of BYOD implementation, there are some more lessons we have learned. Those include:
  • Review and update your BYOD policies and procedures at least once a year. You may also have to update sooner should tech trends demand it.
  • Clear definitions are a must. This is a no-brainer for those who write policy, but it is vital that definitions of devices, users, and violations as well as conseuqences be written with clarity. Revising these definitions regularly is important too.
  • Make sure your policy includes disclaimers. Our district technology department does not have the resources to support personal devices, and as I understand it, our state does not permit state employees to provide that support. Disclaimers regarding theft, loss or damage is important as well, otherwise, more resources may be consumed when these things happen.
Having a Bring Your Own Device policy and procedure has moved to the mainstream. As more and more of our students get personal devices, and come to our schools with the expectation that they can be connected, we must make sure we provide that access or they will get it elsewhere. Having a current BYOD policy in a 21st century school is a must.

cross posted at the21stcenturyprincipal.blogspot.com

J. Robinson has decades of experience as a K12 Principal, Teacher, and Technology Advocate. Read more at The 21st Century Principal.

comments powered by Disqus
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...

Tweets