Smartphones, Tablets to Be Put to Task in Brevard County Schools BYOD Pilot Program

Judy Hartnett's picture
Thursday, June 14, 2012

Students will be asked to bring their personal iPads, laptops and smartphones to two Brevard schools this fall that are participating in a pilot “bring your own technology” program.

Considered a cost-effective way of incorporating technology into the classroom, BYOT programs seek to take advantage of devices students already own.

Select classes in various subjects at Viera High and West Shore Jr./Sr. High schools will be participating in the fall. District leaders said the program later might be expanded.

“As we proceed with this project, there’s going to be many, many more schools that are going to jump on this with both feet,” School Board member Michael Krupp said on Tuesday during a school board meeting.

The pilot program allows the district to start work toward meeting a state mandate that puts a greater focus on using digital textbooks and classroom materials. By 2015-16, half of the district’s instructional materials budget must be spent on digital items. In addition, colleges and workplaces are increasingly expecting students and employees to possess digital skills.

“We’re looking at this momentum of trying to implement these devices, and there is this full-on stop on taking them out at school,” Viera Principal Jim Hickey said. “Many students today feel they are tech-savvy, but they lack the professional skills to navigate the web in a safe and professional manner.”

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