In an e-mail this morning, Portsmouth High School principal Robert Littlefield formally announced the new "Bring Your Own Device" (BYOD) program which will enable students to use their own internet-enabled devices, starting in January.
To all Portsmouth High School families,
We are gearing up for rolling out a significant development at Portsmouth High School shortly after New Year’s Day in January 2014. Soon we will be opening up our school to a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) practice where students, teachers, and visitors will have Internet access through our own Wi-Fi on campus.
It seems like each week I become aware of a new learning opportunity being offered by teachers that is dependent on students having access to the Internet. We have invested a great deal of resources toward modern computer labs and laptop carts and our Information Technology department does a tremendous job maintaining our network, implementing software, and keeping our hardware up and running. Yet, there are times when a trip to the computer lab is not necessary if quick access to the Internet is available.
Starting in January, students will be invited to bring smartphones, laptops, tablets, netbooks, etc. to school in order to employ the devices for educational purposes only. In addition to opening Wi-Fi, each student will have an account for storing assignments on “the cloud” for easy access and sharing.
If we had our wishes, we would be issuing computers to every student. However, that is not possible at this time. However, we feel students run the risk of losing out on learning opportunities by limiting access to the Internet to only those students sitting in computer labs. We hope to allow those students with devices to use them while at the same time offering the opportunity without devices to borrow them from the school.
Obviously, this presents some challenges. We have a faculty committee working on guidelines for the proper use of devices while in school. For instance, students must only access the Internet through our properly filtered Wi-Fi and not through the 3G networks supplied by their telephone service.
More information and opportunities to purchase
Much more information is available on the Portsmouth School District website, including offers by vendors for purchasing devices at an educational discount. I invite all parents to explore these opportunities.
This is an exciting time for our school. I will continue to keep you posted on developments as the roll-out date approaches.
As always, if you have questions or comments please do not hesitate to reply to this email.
Editorial note: Written from a PHS e-mail.