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Dr. David Copeland, Madison County Schools BYOD Technology Initiative
"We want to give our students every tool available that will help them be successful in the classroom," says Dr. Copeland.
By: Dr. David Copeland
Students are allowed to bring smart phones, laptops, e-readers, iPads, or any device with wireless capabilities. Dr. Copeland says that 95% of students in Madison County have personal devices anyway, and in most cases are of the latest models. Devices will be available for students who don’t bring their own so that no one is left out. “Since technology is an ever changing area, funds just won’t allow Madison County Schools to keep up-to-date devices such as laptops and IPads,” says Dr. Copeland, so he has looked at an alternate way, the BYOD. “Before we can implement any technology initiative, we need to have everything in place, “he said. He wants to make sure that the infrastructure is in place to support the technology efforts in the district and he is doing just that. The school system is completely wireless and the networks at six high schools are now humming at full power to implement BYOD efforts.
The students will be logging into the system's network, therefore they won't use up their personal minutes or memory and the sites will be limited to secured, educational ones for classroom use. “Kids were streaming media on their own devices, so we couldn’t access online information needed for our science labs or get legitimate school computers to do what they were supposed to do,” says Tommy Whitten, technology coordinator for Madison County Schools. Madison County had to solve the infrastructure problem before it could launch a BYOD program, Whitten says. “We realized we’d have to continue to increase bandwidth if we were going to make the BYOD work,” he says.
Plans are to expand the BYOD efforts to other schools in the district. Teachers and administrators have undergone training on the use of technology for instructional purposes and additional training is planned. Dr. Copeland realizes the value of technology in the classroom but cautions that it is only a tool for effective teaching. “We want to give our students every tool available that will help them be successful in the classroom and technology is only a tool,” says Dr. Copeland, “And we’re grateful to our representatives and business partners that have helped to provide funding for the much needed infrastructure for this effort.”
Page Updated Last on: Apr 07, 2014