Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
The West Hartford Public School District is committed to creating a rigorous and engaging learning environment for all students and staff. It is part of our core values to provide students with environments that foster and encourage innovative learning. All members of our learning community hold the responsibility to value technology and achieve technological proficiency to prepare our students for future jobs, which currently may not exist. Schools must challenge students with rigorous, personalized academic experiences, foster innovation and creativity, and embrace emerging technologies. Students actively engage in a cohesively integrated curriculum, access information, and apply it in solving authentic problems.
Many students have personally owned devices that can be used to help maximize their opportunity for success in school and beyond. These technologies, when properly used, promote educational excellence in the District by facilitating resource sharing, innovation, and communication. We believe that the tremendous value of technology and the information technology network as an educational resource far outweighs the potential risks. These program guidelines focus on using technologies as educational tools to enhance the teaching and learning experience, consistent with the West Harford Public Schools Mission, Values and Goals. BYOD Parent/Student User Agreement
For the purposes of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), “Device” means a privately owned wireless and/or portable electronic piece of equipment that can be used for word processing, wireless Internet access, image capture and recording, sound recording, information transmitting and/or receiving and storing. These devices may include, but are not limited to, personal laptops, smartphones, iPads or other tablet computers, network access devices, e-Readers, and cellular phones. No gaming devices are allowed (to include: Nintendo DS, PlayStation Portable PSP, etc.). If you are uncertain whether or not your device meets the criteria to be used for BYOD, please see your building administrator.
The District provides a filtered, wireless network available to students for instructional purposes. In accordance with federal guidelines, this network has filtering software that blocks access to material that are inappropriate for students or harmful to minors, as defined by the Children’s Internet Protection Act And Child Online Protection Act.
Privately owned technological devices may not be used during instructional time, except as specifically permitted by instructional staff. Students and visitors are required to register personal devices on the WHPS network and agree to the WHPS Administrative Guidelines for the Use of Technology.
If a student does not have parental permission to use the Internet and/or online services, teachers will make a reasonable effort to provide an alternative assignment covering the same content standards contained in the Internet based instruction. In the event that equivalent instruction cannot be reasonably provided, an alternative assignment will be given to the student.
Staff is responsible for providing guidelines for Internet use by students. Here is an example of the Responsible Use Guidelines for elementary schools. Staff are responsible for supervising student access to the Internet and ensuring that access is being used for educational purposes and in accordance with the Guidelines for Acceptable Use. This is really no different than staff having been responsible that students were taking notes and not passing notes, or reading texts and not magazines, during class. The vehicle to the knowledge has simply changed. Each building clarifies “electronic etiquette” and expectations for their school community consistent with goals and grade levels. These expectations include expectations for common areas and non-academic settings.
- I have my laptop with me in class. How do I get on the Internet now?
- My laptop is not prompting me to choose a wireless network. Is there another way to connect?
- I brought my iPad to school to use in the classroom, but my teacher said I couldn’t use it in his/her classroom. Can I still use it?
- I just can’t get my laptop to connect to the network. Can I get some help from someone?
- I need to save my work in my school's network drive. How can I access this resource?
- How do I print my work?
- My device was stolen when I brought it to school. Who should I contact about this?
- Why am I filtered on my own computer? Shouldn’t I be able to see what I want to on my own device?
- Am I still held accountable for the Acceptable Use Policy I signed at the beginning of the school year even though this is my own personal computer?
Most laptops or other personal devices (smart phones), will detect a wireless connection when you are near one. Most of the time your device will ask you if you would like to join the network. When prompted, choose whps_wifi from the list. You must then launch a new web browser session (e.g. www.google.com) which will automatically redirect you to our welcome webpage. Staff and students must register on the left-side of the screen by using your username and password. HINT-this is the same username and password you use to login to a computer at school.
Bringing your own technology tools to school can be useful, however some risks are involved as well. It is always a good idea to record the device’s serial number to have in case of theft. West Hartford Public Schools is not responsible for the theft of a device nor are we responsible for any damage done to the device while at school. Any time a theft occurs, you should contact a school administrator to make him/her aware of the offense.
Student filtering is a requirement of all public schools. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires all network access to be filtered, regardless of the device you use to access it while in school. You are required to use the whps_wifi wireless for all internet activity in school. Use of cellular data plans (ex. 4G service) is prohibited.
es. The Acceptable Use Policy for WHPS remains in effect even when you are using your own laptop, smart phone, iPad etc. When you register your device on the school’s wireless network you will be prompted to read and acknowledge our acceptable use guidelines. Violating these terms would be a student code of conduct violation and would be dealt with by an administrator.
- My classroom is not conducive to student owned technology, am I required to allow my students to access their technology tools in the classroom?
- Some of my students cannot access the network on their laptops or phones. I don’t have time in a class period to help them with this. Should I put in a help request or call the help desk?
- I have students in my school who are accessing the Internet using their provider’s data plan (AT&T, Sprint, Verizon etc.) on their smartphones or laptops, hence bypassing the filter. Is this a violation of the student AUP?
- I have my own laptop and a smartphone. I would like to utilize these tools at work. Does new plan include school staff?
- I keep getting prompted to register my device each day. Is there a way to have the system remember my device?
- One of my students was using his laptop to bully another student on school. Should I call the central technology office concerning this problem?
- What Classroom Management approaches to BYOD are recommended?
No. Students who cannot access the WHPS network or who may have technical issues with their technology device need to take care of this issue by working with their user’s manual that came with the device out of the classroom. These are not WHPS devices and the district is not allocating resources at this time to troubleshoot issues. You are welcome to help if you choose, but it is not a staff member’s responsibility to ensure that student owned technology is functioning properly.
Students are not allowed to use cellular data plans while at school. Any BYOD user must use the school’s wireless network. If you suspect a student is using their own cellular data plan in order to access content that is not appropriate for school then this is considered a violation of school rules and the school’s discipline policy should be followed.
Yes. School staff can also access the whps_wifi network. After selecting this network, you must launch a new web browser session (e.g. www.google.com) which will automatically redirect you to our welcome page. You must register your device by entering your WHPS username and password on the left-side of the screen. Hint- this is the same username and password you use to login to a school computer. You will be prompted to read and acknowledge our administrative guidelines for acceptable use prior to connecting.
Yes- be sure to register your device on the left side of the welcome screen using your WHPS username and password. Properly registered devices are remembered by the system for a period of one school year. Only visitors (i.e. parents, guest presenters, etc.) should register on the Visitor side of the network. The visitor network is much slower, so to enjoy the full speed of the wireless always register your devices using your WHPS username and password.
The BYOD Traffic Light
Classroom Management of Mobile Devices: The Traffic Signal Approach
The traffic light is posted in the front of the room (near the agenda).
Have a sign in/out system in place for students who need to borrow school devices.
At the beginning of each class that you are using BYOD, have the students get out their devices and turn them face down on their desk. This will give you a bird's eye view of the devices.
Adding apps: If you would like the students to have a particular app on their device, please make sure you give them plenty of notice so they can download it at home (and get their parents permission) and make sure you only ask them to download free apps. If you need to use an app that costs, please check with your campus tech facilitator about purchasing it for the campus.
Make sure you communicate clear expectations to students about when and how it is appropriate to use their devices. Post these expectations! A few suggestions are below.
Use signage to indicate when BYOD use is appropriate and when it is not.
P – Purpose for using device is always educational
R – Responsible use of devices is always expected
I – Instructions for device use will always be followed
D – Devices must always be using the school’s WiFi network
E – Everyone will always conduct him or herself responsibly online
Digital Social Contract:
As a student,
I am responsible for the choices I make when I use technology,
I understand that using technology effectively is a skill that is essential to my success, and
I understand that I am responsible when I use technology at school.
As a student, I am responsible…
For keeping my personal computer devices secure when I bring them to school.
For keeping my digital accounts secure.
For what I do on when using technology at school.
For not hurting the ability of others to learn.
For what I say and do online.
For giving credit where credit is due and respecting the intellectual property of others.
For making good choices about when and where I use personal devices at school.
- My son or daughter is bringing his iPad to school for instructional purposes. Will he have access to things he normally does with district equipment?
- As a parent, am I required to add additional software (virus protection, filter, tracking device etc.) to my child’s technology tool?
- I have read the terms of service and I do not wish to have my daughter accessing the Internet using her own laptop. I would like to allow her to continue using her computer for productivity, but not the Internet. Is this allowable?
- If my son or daughter’s laptop is stolen or damaged, what recourse can I take?
- What are the classroom rules for using student owned devices including phones?
- Will my child have access to communication tools like email or message boards while on the WHPS Guest network?
- Where can I see the Acceptable Use Policy for Technology?
- My child does not have his/her own electronic communication device to bring to school. Will he/she be penalized or miss out on instruction?
- Is it required that my child use the School wireless? Can they use their own wifi/data plan?
- What are some antivirus software options?
- What resources are there to deal with Internet Safety/Cyberbullying?
Your son or daughter will have access to any of the web based software high school schools currently use (Google Docs, Moodle, databases, library search tools etc.). Software may run differently on different devices for varying reasons. You should consult your owner’s manual for software limitations.
No. Currently we are not requiring any additional software for school use. Virus protection is always advised, but not required to access the Guest network. A product called Absolute Software can be installed on the device to track the location in case of theft. While on the WHPS network, students will be monitored through the district’s filter, so there is no need for additional filtering software.
The district is not responsible for any damage or theft of student owned equipment. Using tracking software can help locate the equipment if it is stolen, and keeping track of the device’s serial number, model and type will be helpful as well. Theft or vandalism of any kind should be reported immediately to an administrator, so he/she can take the appropriate steps.
No, it is not mandatory for students to bring a device, even if they do own one. Use of personal electronic devices will be optional. Keep in mind that learning can be enhanced greatly for the entire class even if only a handful of students have a device! Whenever electronic devices are required to enhance learning in the classroom, students will be provided access to an appropriate WHPS District owned electronic device.
Because the devices are owned by you, West Hartford Public Schools is unable to provide you with Antivirus/Anti-Malware software. We strongly encourages you to install Antivirus and/or Anti-Malware software on any personally owned devices which you will allow your student to bring to school and to keep the Antivirus/Anti-Malware software up to date at all times.
If you are unable or unwilling to purchase antivirus software, the following companies provide free antivirus solutions:
For Microsoft Windows based computers, it is recommended that you install the Windows updates as they are made available by Microsoft. You can read about how to do that here.
Encourage your student and be involved. Parents are strongly encouraged to be aware of the programs and apps that their children are installing on their devices as well as the activities that they are engaged in when using the devices.