Why BYOD for Jay School Corporation?

During the course of the last several years, we have been studying the issue of how to integrate personal device technology into our existing school programs. We have been very cautious with regard to this issue as Jay School Corporation  is an "A" rated by the Indiana Department of Education, and we watched as other districts were only marginally successful at implementing technology despite the spending of millions of taxpayer dollars. 

In April of 2014, we began surveying our students and teachers on the level of engagement that they have with technology. Some interesting facts came from those surveys:
     - 89% of our Eighth Grade students have access to the internet at home
     - 60% of our Eighth Grade students have a laptop, netbook, or a tablet they are currently using at home.

In an effort to upgrade our integration with technology, and to make it practical, we began a program called BYOD for Ninth grade students, The BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) allowed students to bring their own computer to school. This year, students who were unable to supply a computer, had a device provided. Our plan is to do the same for those who qualify for free or reduced lunch. The students in 9th grade during the 2014-2015 school year integrated technology into their school lessons. A BYOD format allows the corporation to save money, promotes teaching via multiple platforms, and allows the students at Jay School Corporation special access to Google Apps for Education. We currently plan to expand this program to students in grades 9-12 for the 2015-2016 school year. 

At the Jay School Corporation, we have the opinion that a computer is a great aid or supplementary device in the learning process. We have a long way to go before we are fully integrating the computer into all of our classroom instruction. In the future, our book rental will probably be reduced due to the fact that most books can be found online. In the short term, we will run a system that uses both the computer and the textbooks. 

We are currently using 1:1 in 7th - 12th grades. All students in these grades are required to have a device. The 6th grade students will have high levels of access to our Chromebooks, as they are offered on traveling carts to your student's classroom teachers. It is our expectation that all students will need to have some type of device (laptop or tablet) starting in the beginning of the school year. We will make recommendations to you, but still allow you the choice to send their device, or rent one through the school.