TPSD expands personal device program

Tupelo School District LogoBy Chris Kieffer

Daily Journal

TUPELO – Sixth– to 12th-grade students in Tupelo will again be able to use district-provided computers during the upcoming school year.

Or they can use one of their own.

The district will expand its optional Bring Your Own Device program, Assistant Superintendent Kim Britton said during Tuesday’s School Board meeting. It piloted the program in sixth grade last year.

The program allows students to use their personal devices at school during times when classmates are using computers for instruction. The personal devices will be able to connect to the district network. They would be used instead of district-provided computers.

“It is just another option,” Britton said. “If they have a device of their own they are comfortable with and if their parent trusts them with it, they can use that.”

Personal smartphones will not be allowed to connect to the district network, however, because they use up too much bandwidth.

Personal devices used by students should have keyboards, be Flash compatible and be able to open multiple windows at once, Britton said. The district does not recommend students use tablets as part of the Bring Your Own Device program because they will not be able to meet many of the classroom needs.

The district will send parents a list with specifications. One device it recommends is a Chromebook computer.

Those who bring their own devices will be responsible for them and for keeping them fully charged and maintained.

Tupelo seventh- to 12th-graders still will be able to use a district-provided laptop, although many of those computers will now be four or five years old. Third- to sixth-graders will have carts of laptops available to use in their classrooms.

Tupelo principals will work with teachers to help with implementation of the Bring Your Own device program and to answer questions once teachers return to work next week.

chris.kieffer@journalinc.com