Bring Your Own Technology at Piedmont

For teacher-specific hints on how to best use BYOT, faculty please see the private staff wiki.

“The integration of 21st century tools will prepare students to be career and college ready.”
--NCDPI State Technology Plan

BYOT Rules and regulations

CMS -The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools Internet use Policy :
CMS BYOT frequently-asked questions can be found here:
Piedmont Tech Rules
    • no procedures need change in your room or the hallways.
    • See also Piedmont's electronics policy on the Piedmont main website.

Q and A

Q: Which devices can be used for BYOT?

A:You have many choices, including choosing not to bring a device.Any mobile tech device (see below) with wifi capability will work with BYOT.Some will like the convenience of using a device that they can take home with them each day.You may already have some of these at home. (older devices may or may not support current apps or wifi. You are welcome to bring the device to school for a test. See Lisa Gurthie)
If you wish to purchase, whichever tech fits your child's style and the family budget is the best choice including:
  • Tablet (most recommended for versatility but smartphone may be best for some students-see below)
-durable and simple
-big screen for navigating websites like DiscoveryEd
-Apple ipad or the Surface tablet are the two that get the most attention, but bargain tablets are out now at good prices.
-iPad has the most/best educational apps. However, Android apps are quickly catching up and some tablets have ability to use external storage not just the cloud.
-On the con side, some students may not want the bulk or weight or may want something that fits in the pocket.
  • E-reader or mini tablet
-paperback size screen can be hard for some sites, but is fine for most uses and may be preferred for portability
-price is less expensive than the full tablets
-ipad mini or Kindle fire each have versatile education uses but any brand is fine.
  • Smartphone, iPod touch, or other mini wifi device (like a handheld gaming device)
-lightweight, convenient and easiest to store all day
-fits with the way modern life is already structured
-small screen makes some websites too hard to navigate (Discovery Ed for example) some don't mind typing from the small keyboard, some do.
-most economical option-does not need cell phone contract or data plan for it to work with our wifi.
Even old cell (non-smart) phones with a keyboard or touchscreen will work if they have a browser however this is a limiting option option because it cannot use apps and has very limited capabilities)
  • laptop (least recommended for BYOT. Would only recommend this purchase if student has no desktop or laptop access in the home, and even then they may be too young for carrying it back and forth to school.
-most power and functionality but can't use apps and is only best for serious student and typist who is careful and gentle, never loses their stuff and doesn't mind being tied to a weighty backpack. (not the average middle schooler)

Most students are satisfied with whatever tech they have. Each option has it's own benefits and limitations and it is up to the individual which benefits are most important.
No matter what you choose, I definitely recommend getting a protective cover or case!

Contact Lisa Gurthie if you have any specific questions . Most stores will be happy to demo the options they sell and you can then compare prices online as well if desired.
Q: How do you get on the BYOT wireless network?
A: Next time when you want kids to research from the web, you would allow them to take out their phones or other electronic device. Kids would go to their settings and connect to the wifi by choosing the cms unlocked guest network. There is no password but hey must click "accept" when the cms screen pops up. It may be a long time before everyone can get on wifi at once so be aware the whole school can't be surfing. It must for now just be for specific lessons. PLEASE Do not let kids suck up our bandwidth playing that another teacher may need for a lesson. That would be breaking rule 1. Also, it is fine if you want kids to type notes. If possible, have them do any work like notetaking or paper typing offline and synch to the cloud later (email me if you want me to demo how to do this).

Q: What if I can't join the cmsguest network?
A:If you have checked your settings and chosen the network and accepted and still cant get on, it may be that all the access points are full. Until more bandwidth and access points (hotspots) are installed we will be more of a true "get on whenever you want environment". For now, check with neighbors whose wifi hotspot is near you and take turns giving it a try at a time when the others aren't going to be on wifi.

Q: How should we use BYOT?
A: There are many uses like
1-For independent learning - At teacher discretion, students are welcome to use BYOT for online and ebook reading, research, cloud storage of notes and projects, etc.Teachers may also use it for their personal devices, however the wifi is student filtered for all since there is no login feature with the guest network.
2-For class assignments- Students can also use BYOT for class assignments when teachers choose this option. BYOT integration can be as simple as no longer needing to save for later or skip those questions in your textbook review pages that say " take students to the library and have the students research " or "Bring in a newspaper article about _" With BYOT, students can be researching right in your room.
3-For much more.Here are three videos to spark your thinking:
  • Video 1:Vision of What BYOT can do for Piemont students- all of them- because most cell phones without service will work with both our BYOT wifi and Evernote (the subject of this video)

  • Video 2-This video below shows a joyful trusting buzzing media center/tech hub where students use their phones to work. It kind of captures Piedmont's Open vibe:
  • Video 3-This is a 5th grade class where the teacher is completely calm and the kids are learning. There are some things I don't like about the video, but it shows that using tech can be less stressful on the teacher than traditonal learning with clear rules and procedures.
Q:What if someone isn't comfortable using BYOT?
A:BYOT is optional. Students do not have to bring devices to class and teachers do not have to allow their use.

For Parents

Rules for Social Media- Talk to your children

Further Reading