School considers BYOD phone use in class

Summary:To circumvent funding issues, a school wants students to use their own mobile devices in class.

Rock Hill school, South Carolina, is considering allowing their students to bring their own devices into class.

BYOD schemes are a contentious issue within the educational system. The possibilities of theft, loss or damage, incurred liability, appropriate use and potentially causing social divides between the 'haves' and 'have nots' are all elements that require consideration, and yet Rock Hill school believes that the advantages outweigh the negative aspects of such a proposal.

Leaders and public figures within the district want students who own personal devices to be permitted to switch them on within class.

Funding is one of the main issues that have prompted the idea. If students are able to bring in their own devices, then this may free up the limited number of devices the school owns -- including Netbooks, music players and tablets.

Associate Superintendent Luanne Kokolis said:

"We want to have a one-to-one (one device for each student) environment, but we don't have a funding source."

Kokolis also revealed that the proposal is part of an information session, and the school board will not vote on the issue until later in the year. If the notion is approved, then it will be the next step that the district will take in order to integrate mobile technology within the education system.

In order to solve the problem of incurring liability for damaged, stolen or lost devices, parents would be required to sign a consent form that exempts the school and district from any responsibility. In addition, use would be restricted to classes that teachers specifically want to use mobile technology in.

Currently in the district, every school possesses wireless Internet. Shared between each school, there is approximately 5,000 computers, over 500 iPads and almost 100 iPods available to students. If the proposal is accepted, and parents are happy to accept responsibility for the devices, then the pressure of limited resources and budget will be lightened.

Image credit: Oliver Wales

Related:

Topics: Mobility, Telcos

About

Charlie Osborne, a medical anthropologist who studied at the University of Kent, UK, is a journalist, freelance photographer and former teacher. She has spent years travelling and working across Europe and the Middle East as a teacher, and has been involved in the running of businesses ranging from media and events to B2B sales. Charli... Full Bio

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