Iota High finalizing device program

IOTA – Iota High School’s “Bring Your Own Device” program will have one goal, utilizing electronic technology as the tool it can and has become.

“It’s a tool we want to use,” said Bill Smith. “We aren’t beginning it immediately, but it will be a chance for classrooms with two or three computers to give maybe 10 students the chance to use technology.”

Bring your own device programs and policies at schools see students able to bring personally-owned mobile devices to school and use those devices at school for educational purposes.

Smith, while attending a conference last year, began speaking to other teachers at schools that were instituting these programs across the state.

Now Iota will join the list of schools to implement a Bring Your Own Device program. It will, however, be different than other schools’ programs.

For starters, Iota will not be adding cell phone usage to its device program, it will only be for iPads, Kindles, tablets, netbooks and laptops. Usage of these devices, according to the policy, will be under teacher discretion only.

“Students are not going to be able to pull out their tablet and say, ‘I already finished my work so I’m getting out my tablet’,” said Smith.

Additionally, Iota will be treating this program much like Internet usage by students was initially, meaning parents will have to agree to allow their child(ren) to opt-in to the school’s program.

The program will take some adjusting by students and school official alike and will indeed involve some policing to make sure students are not abusing the system.

“We want the positives to outweigh the negatives and then we can work from there,” said Smith.

The program is a pilot program only at Iota High this year and was approved by the Acadia Parish School Board at its Aug. 5 meeting.

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