Orange County elementary students to bring own digital devices to school

'Bring Your Own Device' pilot program to begin at 2 elementary schools in Jan. 2014

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ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Starting in January 2014, Orange County elementary students will be able to 'BYOD,' or bring your own device, to school.

Changes of student code of conduct will allow fourth and fifth-grade students at Audubon Park and Windermere elementary schools to use digital devices to supplement classroom learning, according to a release from Orange County Public Schools.

Smartphones are not currently approved under district policy, which states the device must be able to provide wireless access to the Internet and contain a note-taking function/application.

If a student can't bring in a device, the school will provide one for use during the school day. The student won't be able to bring the device home, officials said. The device pilot program is already being used at  Millennia, Pinewood, and Wetherbee for students kindergarten through fifth-grade.

According to OCPS, the devices can be used by Audobon Park and Windermere elementary teachers to access and use:

  • Adopted instructional digital materials
  • Websites provided by the publisher of an adopted instructional material and/or other web material authorized by the instructor
  • District-provided student email account
  • District-approved social media and/or online collaboration platforms
  • Wikis, blogs, and similar tools
  • Formative assessment tools (i.e., polling)content production tools (i.e., digital portfolios, publishing, word processing, video editing, music production, podcasts)

OCPS said the program is another step in the direction to full-digital instruction. State law mandates that in 2015-16, 50 percent of all funds spent on educational materials must be used to purchase digital materials.

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