CMS launches Bring Your Own Technology in 21 schools - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

CMS launches Bring Your Own Technology in 21 schools

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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has chosen 21 schools to launch the first phase of a district-wide Bring Your Own Technology initiative that will give wireless-network access to students who bring their own personal devices to school.

Three high schools, six middle schools and 12 elementary schools have been chosen for the first phase. Schools were invited to apply and selection was based on a survey that assessed teacher and student readiness, according to a news release from Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.

"Bring Your Own Technology will allow our students to use their own devices at specified times during the school day to enhance their learning," said Dr. Heath E. Morrison, superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools. "Students can use laptops, eBook readers, iPads and smartphones. Expanding the use of technology to enhance learning for our students is exciting."

The 21 schools will be the first in the district to have access to a wireless network that allows students to use their own devices. Launch times will vary by school, depending on individual infrastructure needs, with access to the wireless network beginning in mid-October.

"Some schools have infrastructure that will allow many students to access the network at once; others will need to limit the number of students on the wireless network at any one time," said Chief Information Officer Valerie P. Truesdale. "The access is provided through a guest network which has standard CMS-student filtering. This expanded use of technology in our schools is governed by the district's Acceptable Use Policy and students are still required to follow that policy, even on their own devices, at school."

All school districts are required to filter access to the internet in schools by the Children's Internet Protection Act. The Acceptable Use Policy was amended by the Board in August to allow personal technology devices. The guidelines for the BYOT initiative were also added to the student internet use agreement.

"We are committed to pacing ourselves through a thoughtful implementation of BYOT," said Dr. Maureen Furr, principal at South Mecklenburg High. South Meck is among the 21 schools in the first phase. "We will monitor bandwidth as teachers and students open instruction to mobile device traffic.  Scaling up BYOT will be systematic and purposeful."

To see a list of the 21 schools chosen for the first phase of BYOT, click here. To read the full district regulation on student internet use and network access, click here. A list of frequently asked questions can be accessed here.

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