District introduces new techonolgy initiative

Senior Mike Eshnaur using his computer for research during class.  Source: April Martin-Hansen
Senior Mike Eshnaur using his computer for research during class.
Source: April Martin-Hansen

This year  the district introduced the ‘Bring Your Own Device Initiative’ to see how it would affect learning. B.Y.O.D. asks students to bring portable laptops or iPads with keyboards to school for use in the classroom.

This new system is encouraging students to become more adept at working with technology and learning online. The initiative is a positive improvement for many, but for some doing math on a website or practicing flashcards online isn’t the best learning situation.

For many auditory and kinesthetic learners, the computerized learning isn’t effective. A computer can be a helpful asset, but for learning fractions and studying french it can be more of a curse than a blessing.

Although there are a few downfalls, many are optimistic about the positive impact the B.Y.O.D. initiative may bring. Annabel Rorden, an SLVHS counselor said, “I think that for different learners, the B.Y.O.D. Initiative will add new learning styles and capabilities.”

For others, the downfalls outweigh the upsides. Staring at a screen while trying to complete a difficult test just will not be condusive to success for many auditory learners.

If students aren’t able to get a laptop for whatever reason, the school has several Chromebook carts and extended library times for afterschool computer use. The District also offers reduced prices for certain laptops as well as low cost internet service options.

Senior Priscilla Unti said, “I don’t think this is great because the cost for families is too high. I pay for my own things and am not going to ask my parents to buy me a laptop,”

Luckily, elementary students don’t have to worry quite yet – only sixth through twelfth graders will need a laptop for school.

Unti also added that “Using devices in math classes makes more sense because that is how some colleges are teaching now, but it makes it much easier for students to cheat and be off task with a laptop than with a notebook.”

Though there are reasons for this fast-track to tech city, not many actually know what those reasons are. The B.Y.O.D. is aimed at prepararing students for college and adult situations where they might need to know how to use technology.

The school’s introduction of B.Y.O.D also stems from a desire to teach responsibility and belonging awareness, as the school will not be held responsible for broken, lost or stolen devices.

Although this new way to teach and learn is difficult or costly for some students, the administrators seem to think that the school should try to give it their best shot and forge ahead into the age of technology.

It may be difficult now, but new skills are always good thing. The technological skills that students will gain are just another tool for their use in future careers and life in the 21st century.


-Eilidh MacDonald

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