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BYOD - Bring Your Own Device

Important BYOD letter to all South Western parents

What is BYOD?

BYOD stands for “Bring Your Own Device.” BYOD will allow students to bring their personal devices to school for educational use under the direction of a teacher or administrator. BYOD devices will supplement (not replace) SW devices. BYOD will increase access to all students through the combined and coordinated use of personal and SW devices.

What are the benefits?

Our students are living in a world where they have immediate access to information anytime and anywhere. Many students have personally-owned devices in their pockets that can be used for learning in their own style and at their own pace. With digital learning, every student can access high quality and rigorous content, thereby maximizing their opportunity for success in school and beyond.

What are the issues?

Some of the concerns of BYOD include security of personal devices, access to printing and other network resources, equity of access for students who do not have devices, and inappropriate use of personal devices.

Security - Bringing personal devices 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. The South Western School District is not responsible for the theft of a device, nor is it responsible for any damage to the device while at school. If a theft occurs, the incident should be reported immediately to a school administrator.

Access to network resources - Personal devices will connect to the Guest Network. The Guest Network is not the same as the network users normally access from a school computer. Network folders will not be available through the Guest Network, so students will need to save their work with a flash drive, to their local hard drive, through GoogleDocs, or another means. Like network folders, printers are networked differently in the school and will not be available from the Guest Network.

Equity of access - Students without a personal device will be provided access to an appropriate district-owned device for instructional purposes as needed.

Inappropriate use – The Acceptable Use and Electronic Devices Policies must be followed by all users. Technology use that violates district policy will be subject to consequences that may include, but not be limited to, termination of access.


  • The Acceptable Use Policy and Electronic Device Policy guide the use of personal devices.
  • The teacher is the instructional leader and determines when and how personal devices are to be used.
  • Personal devices should arrive to school functional and fully charged.
  • Personal devices will connect to the SWSD Guest Network for filtered Internet access.
  • Students are responsible for the safety, operation, troubleshooting and repair of their own devices.
  • The combined and coordinated use of BYOD and SW devices will increase access for everyone.


What type of “device” do you expect students to bring to school?
We expect that students may bring laptops (Windows, Apple, Linux), iPads, Android-based tablets, Kindle Fire, Smartphones, and other devices not yet available.

Are there specific requirements that devices must meet to be added to the school network?
To access the Guest Network, the device must be capable of wireless access. Students will not be able to plug into the network through an Ethernet cable. Current virus protection is highly encouraged.

How do students access the school network?Is it required that students use the school wireless network, or can they use their own 3G or 4G service? Most devices will detect a wireless connection when in proximity and prompt the user for access. Students can simply choose “Guest” from the list. If the device does not display a prompt to choose a wireless network, students can go to the settings menu of their device and choose the Guest Network.

Users are encouraged to connect to the Guest Network for filtered access, faster response, and to avoid data use in excess of their personal data plan. Users that utilize Internet access through 3G or 4G service plans do so at their own risk.

My device will not connect to the network. Can the staff help me?
It is not the responsibility of your teachers or other district staff to troubleshoot individual devices. The first step should be to check your owner’s manual for issues concerning connectivity.

Will I have access to District-purchased software from personal technology devices (e.g. Microsoft Office, Adobe CS4, etc.)?
No. District purchased software is only available on District owned equipment. Access is similar to Wi-Fi access that would be available in a public place like a coffee shop or a hotel.

What rules apply to the use of these devices on the Guest network?
As with all technology use, personal or school-owned, students should use technology for educational purposes with the permission of the teacher or an administrator. Students using a personally-owned device must abide by the District Acceptable Use and Electronic Devices Board Policies. The Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA) requires all network access to be filtered regardless of the device that is used to access it while in a public school. While students own the device, the Guest Network belongs to the school, so Internet access will be filtered.

What happens if a student uses the device inappropriately?
Violations of any Board policies, administrative procedures, or school rules involving a student’s personally owned device may result in the loss of use of the device in school and/or disciplinary action. The school reserves the right to inspect a student’s personal device if there is reason to believe that the student has violated Board policies, administrative procedures, school rules, or has engaged in other misconduct while using their personal device.

What are some examples of inappropriate use?
The student records a video without the permission of the teacher and posts it on YouTube. The student takes pictures during class of other students and sends them electronically to friends without teacher approval. The teacher has given permission to use the device for a project, but the student chooses to check his or her account on a social media site instead.

Who is responsible if the device is damaged, stolen, or lost?
Students bring personal devices to school at their own risk, just like any other personal items. The district will not be held responsible for lost, stolen, or misplaced devices or items. Some devices have a device locator; parents and/or students may want to enable this feature if possible.

What happens if another student is bullying me using a personal device?
All bullying incidents should be reported to a school administrator. Bullying would be a Student Code of Conduct issue.

What if a student doesn’t have his or her own personal technology device?
It is not mandatory for students to bring a device, even if they do own one. When personal devices are used to enhance learning in the classroom, students without a personal device will be provided access to an appropriate district-owned device.

Can a student use their own device in any class?
Students may use personal devices in any class to meet educational goals as long as they have permission from the teacher.

Can individual teachers restrict the type of devices allowed in their classrooms?
Yes. A teacher could conceivably allow the use of laptops, tablets, and eReaders, but not cellphones.

225 Bowman Road, Hanover, PA 17331 | Phone: 717-632-2500 Fax: 717-632-7993
Copyright © 2010 South Western School District, All Rights Reserved | Last Updated: 5/14/2012
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