Colonel Gray High School students are the first Island students to use their own smart phones, laptops, and tablets in classroom learning.
A Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) pilot project is being conducted at Colonel Gray November 15 to December 23. After the pilot is evaluated by education and IT staff, it will be rolled out to other schools in the new year at two or three schools at a time.
“Now that we have the necessary technology infrastructure and wireless schools, students can learn with the tools they use in their everyday life and will use in their future careers,” Education, Early Learning and Culture Minister Doug Currie said. “By enabling students to use their own familiar devices in the classroom, we can increase the use of technology beyond what the school Chrome Books now allow, eventually making technology the default in Island classrooms.”
Students will benefit from the BYOD policy in several ways. Using their own technology will better position students for success in post-secondary where it is now the norm. BYOD can level the playing field for students with disabilities, who can now connect their own assistive devices to the school network. When students have their own devices, less instructional time is lost by distributing and collecting school computers.
The new policy is not expected to create a disadvantage for students because many students will want to bring their own device, freeing-up enough school computers to provide all students with adequate access to technology. In addition, the same filters that exist on current school computers will apply to personal devices while they are at school.
“Parents should not feel pressured to buy their children new devices as there will be enough computers for everyone,” Colonel Gray Principal Dominique Lecours said. “Also, students cannot access social media or inappropriate content on their device in the school, which provides added security compared to the open access wifi we have in our homes.”.”
Students using their own devices at school will not have to use their own data.
“Now that students have the access and the tools, our department is committed to embedding technology in curriculum, and to providing teachers with good instructional strategies that are supported by the use of technology,” Minister Currie said.