Bring Your Own Device To School


Tech pile /

Matt Lanetti

Technology Department seeks change to student technology plan by encouraging students to bring in their own devices.

Malvern’s technology department has a new plan for the role of personal devices in school. Students will not be supplied with their own device, but encouraged to bring in their own.

A few years ago, there was some discussion of the possibility of a “1 to 1” policy with student technology, meaning that each student would have their own device. There was a possibility that these devices, either laptops or tablets, would be supplied by the school.

Now, however, that policy has been dropped in pursuit of a different approach. The new policy will encourage students to bring in their own device.

Mr. Street, Assistant Director of Technology explained, “Eventually, the policy will involve a specific list known as the BYAD list, that’s for ‘Bring Your own Approved Device.’” Right now, anybody can bring in any device they want. Street explained that this change in policy will encourage students to use more productivity-oriented technology in the classroom.

According to Director of Technology Mr. Terrence Norko, this BYAD policy will go into effect September 1, 2015. Norko said that it is likely that BYAD will become a suggested policy starting some time this year, but was unable to provide a specific date.

Street said that Malvern’s technology infrastructure could not support a 1:1 policy, “There are certain resource limitations we have,” said Street. Street believes that the 1:1 policy is not a current trend in education. “More colleges and schools are going away from providing a device,” he said.

Some schools in our area do have 1:1 policies and supply students with devices. These schools include Pope John Paul II and Sacred Heart, where students are issued iPads according to their school websites. The Lower Merion School District has continued to issue laptops to all students since the “WebcamGate” scandal in 2010 where it was revealed that the school district had secretly spied on their students through webcams. According to their websites, our Inter-Ac peers Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and Penn Charter issue laptops to students.

There are many schools near us, however, that are now adopting policies similar to Malvern’s BYAD. The list of schools with these policies includes West Shore School District, Gettysburg Area School District, and Colonial School District.

Nick Margay ‘15, does not agree with the decision to forgo the “1:1” policy. “I believe the 1:1 policy makes a lot more sense given the huge number of technology products that could be brought in. Regulation with the 1:1 policy will make it easier on the school to track what we are doing.”

Brandon Fronczak ‘15 believes the change in policy will be beneficial, “BYAD allows for more freedom and allows the student to be more comfortable with their technology.”

Malvern’s Technology Department is currently working on several other updates to school technology. According to Street, the Technology Department plans to change the way students and faculty sign on to the wifi network, so that we would only need to sign on once a year. Devices would be remembered by the network and the student body would not need to sign on each time they connect.

By integrating a BYAD policy, the Technology Department believes students will be able to stay productive on-the-go and more mobile throughout the school.