After years of student complaints about faulty computers, Carmel High School is finally piloting a new Bring Your Own Device program.
The program will give a pilot group of students the opportunity to bring their own laptops to school, rather than use the school-offered computers in class. Each student will be assigned an individual code that will give them access to CUSD’s WiFi.
“All the same rules apply if you bring your own laptop,” CUSD education tech trainer Colin Matheson says. “All the same sites are still blocked because you’re using the school’s WiFi.”
Personal laptops will only be allowed for school-related uses while on campus, but this new freedom offers students the chance to use technology they are comfortable with, according to the waiver for the program.
The pilot run is only being offered to English teacher Mike Palshaw’s three senior Writing classes and will be implemented in January.
Students may opt out of the program and use the school computers that are already supplied, but for those who choose to participate, it is a welcomed change.
“I think it’s very beneficial because it’s just like college,” senior Josie Odello says, “so it’ll get us used to it, and it’ll just be easier overall.”
Matheson believes that BYOD will encourage kids to learn how to be responsible for their own belongings.
“Too many college freshmen lose their laptops because they’re careless with them,” Matheson says.
“I think it’s a cool idea,” senior Buddy Satow says. “With WiFi access…you can use [your computer] anywhere and not have to go to a classroom or to the library to use it.”
There are a few potential downsides. According to Matheson, personal laptops will most likely not be able to link up to the public folder on the network due to virus risk.
“We’ll try to encourage people to use GoogleDocs instead,” Matheson says.
Matheson also urges students to take advantage of the opportunity and use this privilege correctly. He warns seniors, “Don’t be that one kid who messes it up for everybody else.”
The district plans to re-evaluate BYOD in February and will determine an action plan from that point on.