Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Bennington Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) Initiative?
The BYOD initiative at Bennington is a shift in policy, access, and instructional practice in all Bennington Public Schools to allow and encourage students to bring Internet-connected devices from home into school. Internet-connected devices can be laptops, tablets, smart phones, e-readers, or anything with Wi-Fi Internet access. Devices must be able to connect to Wi-Fi because cellular service within school buildings may not always be reliable.
Why Is Bennington Implementing BYOD?
Technology plays an increasingly important role in modern life and in education. By leveraging the tools that students already own, we aim to help students learn how to use their devices productively and responsibly. In addition, Bennington's strategic planning goals include helping students to develop 21st century skills, provide personalized learning for all students, and strengthening ties with the local and global community. This BYOD initiative will help the District work towards these goals.
When Will Bennington Implement BYOD?
The BYOD initiative will become District policy upon approval by the Bennington School Board. The goal is to implement these policies for the 2014-15 school year.
Will I Have To Buy My Child A Device?
No. The first phase of Bennington's BYOD initiative is to adjust policies and procedures as well as to install infrastructure to support the use of student machines in regular instruction. The District will continue to be committed to providing access to technology as a regular part of the curriculum, but participation in the school's BYOD program is OPTIONAL.
What Kinds Of Devices Will Students Be Able To Use?
The only requirement for BYOD is that the device is able to connect to the Internet. This means that any laptop, smart phone, or tablet may be used at the teacher's direction to supplement instruction. Different devices are better-suited for different tasks, and teachers may suggest that students have access to particular technology for particular tasks. The District will continue to provide access and support for these standard tools.
If I Want To Buy A Device For My Child, What Should I Get?
Any Internet-connected device may be brought in and used in the instructional process. District staff are currently researching partnerships with our vendors to provide discounted hardware and software to our stakeholders. The following list will give parents an idea of what kinds of devices will work well as instructional tools:
|Device Name||Operating System||Screen Size||Battery Life||Retail Price|
|Windows 8 Laptop||Windows 8.1||11"-17" - most are between 13" and 15.4"||3+ hrs (minimum recommended is 4 hrs)||$299 and up|
|Microsoft Surface Pro3||Windows 8.1||12"||5-7 hrs||$799-$2078|
|iPad||iOS||7.9" (mini) 9.7" (Air or iPad with Retina)||9+ hrs of light use||$299-$929|
|Chromebook||Chrome OS||11"-14"||4-12 hours depending on model||$199-$449|
|Android Tablet||Android||7"-12"||9-12+ hrs||$199-$699|
|Kindle Fire||Fire OS (based on Android)||7"-8.9"||9-12+ hrs||$139-$379|
Which Schools Will Participate In BYOD?
All BPS schools will participate in the BYOD initiative. Individual teachers will make decisions about how to incorporate student devices into their instruction.
What Tools Will The District Provide?
Bennington Public Schools provides access to a variety of online educational and productivity tools. In addition to District-provided tools, teachers may also employ a variety of web-based tools for instructional use. District access includes the following:
- Moodle - our learning management system
- Google Apps for Education including Drive, Calendar, Sites, and others
- Pearson Successnet
- IXL (grades 2-12)
- World Book Online Encyclopedia
- Learn 360
Will The District Provide Mobile Apps For Students?
Any apps that students may want to use will be determined by personal preference and must be purchased (if necessary) by the student or the student's family. The school will not provide apps for students as part of the instructional process because access to District-provided tools will be over the Internet.
Not All Families Can Afford Devices. How Will This Need Be Addressed?
The District is researching ways to provide devices to families at little or no cost. More information on these programs will be made available at a later time. If you are interested in partnering with the District or donating towards this cause, please fill out the form below. We also understand that not every child will be able to bring in a device. The District will provide access to the Internet using classroom computers and a limited number of mobile devices and labs. Collaboration with other students will also be encouraged as appropriate.
What Happens If My Child's Device Breaks At School?
Students are responsible for their own technology. Damage, loss, or theft will be investigated and documented by school staff if necessary in accordance with school policy, but the school will not be responsible for damaged, lost, or stolen devices.
Is The Internet Filtered At School? What About At Home?
All devices on the Bennington Public Schools network are filtered in accordance with District policy and Federal regulations. Devices that are not on the Bennington Public Schools wireless network are not filtered or monitored by the District.
Will My Child Receive Technical Support For His/Her Device?
School personnel may assist with connecting to the District's wireless network, but direct support is limited. Part of the responsible use of technology involves knowing how to troubleshoot one's own device. Since there is a wide variety of devices available for purchase and use, school personnel cannot be expected to know everything about every kind of device that may be brought in.
Will Students Be Able To Charge Their Devices During The Day?
As part of responsible use of technology, students should make sure that their devices are charged before arriving at school. Charging in individual classrooms will be available at the discretion of the classroom teacher, but access to outlets is limited.
Will Students Have Access To Printing From Their Devices?
The District is currently researching the ability to allow students printer access from personally-owned devices. Currently, the District does not support printing from mobile devices.