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BYOD: Bring Your Own Device, What does it mean?

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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 (GCPS) moves in this direction, what do students, parents, and teachers need to know about this topic? In Gwinnett, we see students using their own technology more and more as part of the teaching and learning process. Together, teachers and students are learning how to best integrate a variety of personal technology devices (cell phones, tablets, laptops, e-readers, etc.) into the classroom. We also are learning which devices are “content-friendly,” as recognized platforms can vary greatly. The Wi-Fi capabilities at several GCPS elementary schools and all Gwinnett middle and high schools are ready to support BYOD participation by students. Schools will first develop their instructional plans, and then can allow students and teachers to use their personal devices to access the Internet through the GCPS network for instructional purposes. When it comes to questions about BYOD, they generally revolve around four issues: access; theft, loss, or damage; associated fees; and what types of devices can be used. Access Filtered access to the Internet at school will be provided via the GCPS network. To be granted access, students must confirm they accept the terms and conditions of Gwinnett County Public Schools’ Responsible Use Policy (RUP). By accepting these terms and conditions, users agree to uphold the contents of the RUP as well as the Student Code of Conduct on their own student-owned devices while on school district property. Additionally, in compliance with the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA), GCPS will filter all content for users connected to the GCPS network at school. Theft, Loss, or Damage The owner of the device is responsible for ensuring that the device is safe and secure. GCPS and employees of GCPS are not liable or responsible for any theft, damage, or loss of any non-district device or the information on any such device. Texting Fees GCPS will offer Wi-Fi Internet access through the GCPS network without fees to BYOD participants. However, if a student chooses to use other functions or features on his or her device, standard device fees may be billed by the student’s provider. GCPS is not responsible for any fees associated with using any personal technology devices. All fees and charges related to texting or Internet use on any student-owned device are the sole responsibility of the owner.