Beginning in 2014-15, WS/FCS opened its computer network with its Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) initiative. Students, employees and visitors can use their own phones, tablets, computers and other devices to connect to the Internet on the school district’s public network. The network uses a filter to keep users from inappropriate sites.
With BYOD, teachers will be able to design lessons that encourage students to use online research and tools. Students do not have to buy a device, and they will not be penalized if they do not have a device. Schools will use different approaches to make sure students have similar opportunities. Please talk to your teacher or principal for more information about how BYOD will be used in your school.
Students will use their devices at their teachers’ direction and not for recreation. Students are expected to comply with the Student Code of Conduct and Policy 6161, Responsible Use of Technology, when using the school district’s network.Frequently Asked Questions
Does my child have to bring a device?
No, it is entirely optional.
What happens if a family cannot afford to buy a device for their child?
Each school has access to a limited number of mobile devices for students to use on a daily basis. Teachers also will design lesson plans accordingly.What type of device can students bring?Windows: laptops, smartphonesAndroid: tablets, smartphonesApple: laptop, iPad, iPhone
What software do I need on my child’s computer/device?The most important item you can provide for your child’s device is anti-virus software. Computer viruses on unprotected devices are the most common issue encountered on student-owned devices. There are free anti-virus software programs, such as AVAST or Microsoft Security Essentials, in addition to many products that require a paid subscription (MacAfee, Norton, etc.). Note: many new computers come with free TRIALS of software. Please ensure your child’s device is protected past the trial period.
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will not provide or install software on student-owned devices. The majority of the software needed is web-based and is available at no cost to students or parents through Office 365 for Education.
Will students have access to a computer if student-owned device is unavailable or it is in need of repair?
There will be a limited number of devices that will be available at school for students’ use.
Will the use of computers affect my child’s learning?
A 21st century learning environment begins with core content skills and knowledge (including reading, writing, math and other essential skills). Technology enhances, enriches and personalizes the learning for each student. Students will be directed to use their devices for classroom instruction only.How can computers/devices be used to support student learning?
• The flexibility of the technology is the key concept. Students can choose the software, browsers, tools and other resources that best suit their individual needs.• Structured experiences designed by well-trained teachers can help students use computers to master content and develop their own strengths.• Technology provides information when the student is ready for it.
• People learn from each other. Technology provides opportunities for students to connect and collaborate globally.What types of things will students be doing on the computers/devices?
Students will use their devices in focused, productive ways including:
• Accessing, researching, studying and evaluating information
• Producing multimedia presentations
• Collaborating online with students, teachers and other professionals across the country and around the globe
• Uncovering and applying relevant information as part of an informed decision-making process
• Submitting materials for assessment and learning how to structure information
Will they be using the devices everyday and in every class?
Students will use computers when the learning calls for it and at the teacher’s direction.
Will the students have an email address through the school?
Yes. All students in grades 3-12 will have a school email address through Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools.
How will you handle students accessing inappropriate websites during school? Are they permitted to use Facebook and other social media sites during school?Students will access the Internet while they are at school through the WSFCS_Public network. This network has filters to prevent users from accessing inappropriate sites. However, WS/FCS cannot filter sites when students access the Internet from home or when using 3G/4G networks. Digital citizenship will become a natural part of the curriculum and will be reinforced and modeled while at school. Parents also are encouraged to teach and model the same for students outside of school. If you have questions, please ask your child’s teacher or principal.
Theft and Damage
How will you handle stolen or damaged laptops?
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools accepts no responsibility for personal property brought to the school by students. Personally owned devices that are stolen or damaged are the responsibility of the student and their parents/guardians.We will spend time helping students understand the responsibility that comes along with owning a device. Families can also consider theft/damage insurance.
Will there be insurance available for parents to purchase to provide protection in case of theft or damage?
Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools will not provide insurance protection for personal-owned devices and is not liable for damage to those devices.Will there be a place to secure and store devices at school?
Students will be responsible for securing their own devices at all times (each school will determine procedures for assisting students with storage during the school day). Student-owned devices should not be left unattended or stored at school overnight.
Something is wrong with my child’s mobile device. Who fixes it?
The support, maintenance and troubleshooting of student-owned devices is the responsibility of each student and family.
Will the students be allowed to share their personal device with others?
Students are only permitted to use their own device or those devices owned by the district. This will prevent students from being held responsible for damage to another student’s device.