Bring Your Own Device

BYOD tshirt

Technology can be a key tool to engage students and enable them to explore, investigate, research and solve problems. Buncombe County Schools implemented Bring Your Own Device back in 2010. While Buncombe County Schools has invested in significant computer technology including the first two phases (including Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 113 devices to all 4th-6th & 7th-9th graders) of our 1:1 Digital Learning Plan/Timeline, there is still a place for BYOD in our schools and especially currently at tenth through twelfth grade as we look toward Phase III and 1:1 in those grade levels in the fall of 2017.

BYOD: Bring Your Own Device

Kids and their cell phones

How Does BYOD Work?
Before the rollout of "BYOD," with few exceptions students were not allowed to bring their own laptops and tablets to school, nor typically, to use their own smart phones and eReaders in class. But now students at Buncombe County intermediate, middle and high schools are granted this privilege, so long as they abide by the rules of acceptable use, and in accordance with the way each school decides to implement the initiative. 

Students sitting together and studying

It is important to remember that it is up to each classroom teacher to determine the best ways to incorporate the use of technology into their lesson plans. They are the ones who will determine if, when and how personal devices are used in their classroom. There may be times such use is encouraged, and times the use of devices will be prohibited. The goal of BYOD is to enable teachers to allow the use of personal devices as an educational tool, enhancing instruction, while avoiding the use of devices as a distraction or entertainment. Students must be respectful of the teacher's classroom rules and instructions regarding personal devices, as well as the overall Technology Responsible Use Policy 3225/4312/7320.

Parents need to understand the rules as well and should make sure that they and their student(s) are in complete understanding and agreement regarding expectations for taking and using their private device(s) at school.  Parents and students are asked to thoroughly review the information below on Acceptable Use of Devices, and to study the cyber safety information as well available on the BCS website under the “Safe Schools” tab.

BCS Technology Responsible Use of Devices

Buncombe County Schools (BCS) is committed to moving students and staff forward in a 21st century learning environment. As part of this plan, Buncombe County Schools will allow students and staff to bring their own devices (BYOD) during any teaching and learning day. With classroom teacher discretion, students may use their own devices in the classroom. Participants should use personal devices during the instructional day to support their educational activities and maintain academic integrity in all their work at all times. Access for personal reasons is secondary and must not disrupt the learning of others. The current cell phone policy for students remains in effect and supersedes this statement of use.

Students and staff may bring their own devices (BYOD) to school during any teaching and learning day. The BYOD wireless network will only provide filtered Internet access.  BCS teachers, media assistants and other staff, are not responsible for configuring personal devices to access this network.  Users may not access the Buncombe County Schools network via hardwired connection with any personal device.  BYOD devices will not have access to the internal BCS network or resources provided by the internal BCS network, including shared drives and printers.

Responsibility for maintenance and repair of privately owned devices rests with the individual owner. Buncombe County Schools (BCS), and its employees, are not responsible for the maintenance and repair of personal devices.  Submitted Bolt tickets without proper asset management tags associated with BCS property will not be supported. 

It is the joint responsibility of school personnel and the parent or guardian of each student to educate the student about his/her responsibilities and to establish expectations when using technology. Responsibility to keep privately owned devices safe and secure rests with the individual owner. BYOD participants are prohibited from sharing personal devices, creating “hot spots”, and deliberately tampering with school system property or property of others, including uploading and downloading illegal material or inappropriate content.

Buncombe County Schools (BCS), and its employees, are not liable for any device stolen or damaged while on campus or off-campus at a BCS sponsored event. If a device is stolen or damaged, such incidents will be handled through the local administrative office in the same manner as other personal artifacts that are impacted in similar situations. Any device connecting to the district WiFi network, including the segmented "BCSBYOD" wireless network, is subject to seizure under certain circumstances. 

Below are frequently asked questions for Students and for Teachers regarding the BCS plan for BYOD:

Student FAQ

Q: I brought my personal device to school to use in the classroom, but my teacher said I couldn’t use it in his/her classroom. Can I still use it? 
Answer: The teacher in the classroom has the final say on procedures in the classroom. If he or she asks you not to use your device, then you should follow those directions. Bringing your own device is only an option, not guaranteed for each classroom situation.

Q. I need to print something, is this allowed? 
Answer: No, students are not allowed to print items from any wireless device. Students that attempt to print from their wireless device may lose the privilege to bring their device to school. 

Q. My personal device was stolen when I brought it to school. Who should I contact about this? 
Answer:  Bringing your own technology device to school can be useful; however, some risks are involved as well. It is always a good idea to record the device’s serial number in case of theft. Buncombe County Schools is not responsible for the theft of a device, nor are we responsible for any damage done to the device while at school. Theft or vandalism of any kind should be reported immediately to the school administration so he/she can take the appropriate steps. Damage or theft is still the responsibility of the owner. 

Q. Am I still held accountable for the Technology Responsible Use Policy, even though this is my own personal device? 
Answer: Yes. The BCS Technology Responsible Use and Internet Safety policies remain in effect even when you are using your own device. Violating the terms of the Technology Responsible Use Policy would be a student code of conduct violation and would be dealt with on campus with a local school administrator. 

Q, Will there be a penalty to my grade if I do not have my own device? 
Answer: No. Devices are never required and therefore, a grade cannot be taken. When technology use is mandated, devices will be provided to anyone who needs them.

Teacher FAQ

Q. My classroom is not conducive to student owned technology. Am I required to allow my students to access their technology tools in the classroom?
  No. Teachers are encouraged to leverage student owned technology tools in their classroom for learning. The design of the lesson should be used to determine the best use of student provided technology and the rules that apply.

Q. I have students who are accessing the internet using their provider’s data plan (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Cricket, etc.) on their own devices, hence bypassing the filter. Is this allowable?
Answer: Students are expected to follow the district acceptable use policy when accessing the internet through any device.

Q. A student in my room may be misusing their personal device. Am I permitted to check the device?
Answer: The Principals and SROs have been instructed by our attorneys on what they can "search" for and what they cannot. They can only search for what they expect to find, based on what was seen. Teachers should ask the student to put the device away and report the incident to the administrators.