|Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)… It’s become a buzz phrase in schools across the country. But what does it really mean? How will it affect instruction? And most importantly, as Gwinnett County Public Schools moves in this direction, what do students, parents, and teachers need to know about this topic?|
In the future, we anticipate students will use their own technology more and more as part of the teaching and learning process. The school system is researching how to best integrate personal technology devices into the classroom. To prepare for a time when students will bring their own technology, the district is expanding its Wi-Fi capabilities. GCPS also is exploring what kinds of devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops, e-readers, etc.) may be used instructionally. As part of that research, we also are looking at the degree to which different devices are “content-friendly,” as recognized platforms can vary greatly.
As part of the eCLASS pilot, schools in five clusters— Archer, Berkmar, Duluth, North Gwinnett, and Shiloh— may elect to allow some students and teachers to use their personal devices to access the Internet through the GCPS network. BYOD decisions for each school are based on their specific instructional needs and how students’ devices will support those needs. To date, 14 schools have chosen to extend student access to technology through the pilot, with some including BYOD plans.