The Bring Your Own Device Initiative Overview
Prepared by Brent Bryant
Northern Potter School District
What is a BYOD initiative?
BYOD is an acronym for Bring Your Own Device.
In the spring semester of the 2011-2012 school year Northern Potter Jr. Sr. High School
students will be permitted to bring their digital devices to school for academic purposes
(Solomon’s Words for the Wise, 2011). This initiative follows a nation-wide trend to
leverage the vast amount of technology students have at home into useful tools for
meaningful learning experiences (Ullman, 2011).
Why a BYOD initiative?
This initiative is an extension of the school’s MLD program that currently puts Android
smart phones into the hands of 5th-9th graders and, by 2014, will encompass grades 5-12.
The motivation behind the MLD program was to place technology in the hands of all
students to ensure they gain 21st century skills that make them competitive with other
students, and subsequently graduates, on the global scale. The BYOD program will
increase technology saturation within the school while increasing access to district-owned
technology to students who may not have or bring their personal device(s). In no way
should a BYOD initiative be perceived as NPSD abandoning it’s plans to continue to
offer the best educational, and technological, experiences for students within its existing
Initiatives of this kind bring many questions and concerns to the minds of the community
stakeholders. Below some common questions/concerns will be addressed.
1. Security: Allowing students with administrative rights to run free on a network is
This statement is true, but students in this BYOD initiative will hardly have free
A. Each students device will be inspected by the Technology Director and the
machines unique Media Access Control, or MAC, address will be identified and
recorded. This will allow the machine to be identified on the district’s network
and it’s movement from wireless internet coverage area to wireless internet
coverage area can be tracked. In addition network access can be restricted at any
time for any MAC address. More information on MAC addresses can be found
B. Machine inspection will also ensure students have an updated anti-virus program
installed and operational.
C. After each device is found to pose no threat to NPSD network resources, the
technology director will enter the password, or WEP key, for the device to access
the NPSD wireless network. This key can be removed at any time. Once on the
wireless network, the device will be subject to the same Child Internet Protection
Act-compliant content filtering as district-owned technology.
D. Smart Phones will not be given access to the district’s wireless Internet service.
Instead these devices will utilize existing Verizon-owned Cellular Radio
Frequency, or RF, services. These services will be subject to optional.
parent/guardian initiated content filtering through the cellular service provider, as
recommended in the initial announcement of this initiative (Solomon’s Words for
the Wise, 2011).
E. As always, procedures and policies will be adapted, as needed, to ensure student
safety and the security of network resources.
Won’t this initiative will further expose economic disparities in our community?
An initiative of this kind will have some students coming to school and others without.
This should not be viewed as a situation of haves and have-nots but, instead, as an
opportunity for students without personal technology to have increased access to existing
technology resources as well as a way for NPSD to assess needs for future technology
Who will cover loss, theft or damage?
As with any personal property brought on campus, Northern Potter School District, or
NPSD, can assume no financial responsibility for lost, damaged, or stolen items. That
said, malicious destruction and theft are incidents investigated, and handled, on a case-
by-case basis by the district administration.
How will game playing, streaming media, and social networking be prevented?
As with the MLD initiative and most instructional decisions in the classroom, the teacher
is the master of their domain. Teachers not wishing to integrate BYOD technology will
make this wish part of their classroom expectations.
However, to further the goal of competitive 21st century students, teachers will continue
participating in district-mandated, professional development opportunities geared towards
creating meaningful, technology-enhanced learning experiences. Since the beginning of
public education; engaged students have been attentive students.
In addition, A network scan on 12/2/2011 revealed that over thirty devices, or > 8 % of
the total devices on the NPSD network were unauthorized Apple devices. In short, the
devices are already on campus and a part of our network. Registering them and ensuring
they have antivirus/can be monitored (by association with our network access points and
using apps such as Fing) provides for more security and more technology.
5. More Information.
Where do I learn more about NPSD’s and other BYOD initiatives?
B. Community stakeholders are encouraged call the Technology Director to arrange a
visit to gain a first-hand perspective of technological innovation within the district.
A. Several educational technology journals and weblogs offer information on the
philosophy and practice behind several other BYOD initiatives. These are featured in the
Further Reading section below.
Solomon’s Words for the Wise (2011, November 28). Announcement for northern potter
school district. Retrieved December 1, 2011, From
Ullman, E. (2011, March 1) Byod and security. Retrieved November 30, 2011, From