Middle School BYOD Program Info
History of the district technology program at the middle school level
Beginning in 1999, the Walled Lake Consolidated School District offered an optional one-to-one laptop program, Anytime Anywhere Learning (AAL). The success of the program was due in large part to the support of parents and the Walled Lake community. Parents of students in the AAL program were required to provide a laptop with explicit specifications and configuration for school and home use.
With the rapid changes in technology and the availability of cloud-based services, we adjusted the requirements to no longer limit the devices that students use to just laptops beginning in 2014. The program was rebranded to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device). Due there there being more affordable device options, participation in the program became more accessible to students. With this increased flexibility in device options, more and more middle school students bring technology to school for educational purposes. Our goal is for all teachers to integrate authentic use of technology in classrooms, and the BYOD program supports our efforts.
Technology Use in All Schools
Technology has become part of our district's culture in all classrooms. Although Walled Lake Consolidated Schools provides Chromebooks and desktop computers in all four middle schools, an ever increasing number of students bring their own devices to school, allowing Walled Lake teachers to remain at the cutting edge of teaching curriculum through technology.
Due to the success of our BYOD program, we will continue to offer it during the 2018-19 school year. A middle school student owning a technology device will be encouraged to bring it to school regularly for instructional and learning purposes. Enrollment in our Bring Your Own Device program will help our middle schools balance resources and offer equal opportunities for all of our students. The more students with personal devices, the better we can implement technology-rich lessons that support our curriculum.
Bring Your Own Device Benefits & Options
Today’s employers are looking to hire the most competent, creative, and innovative people. At the heart of our Common Core, we realize that students need to develop creative problem solving skills and become intellectual risk takers to prepare for their futures. Having full-time access to a personal device as a learning tool gives students more opportunities to develop critical thinking and literacy skills, which can be applied to any learning situation.
Students in 6th, 7th and 8th grades are encouraged to participate in the BYOD Program and bring any laptop that meets minimum requirements or any brand Chromebook. A tablet with keyboard is also acceptable, but we find that the mobile platforms of these devices limit the functionality in some learning activities.
Enrolling in the BYOD Program for 6th, 7th and 8th Grade:
Parents who choose to enroll their children in the Bring Your Own Device program at all three grade levels will purchase/provide a laptop, Chromebook, or tablet with keyboard for their sons or daughters to use at school and home on a daily basis. Students commit to carry their device to school daily for educational purposes. There is no limit to the number of students who can enroll. Families register to participate in the program as part of the 2018-2019 Course Selection process. This will be a yearly enrollment decision.
Students may bring any brand Chromebook purchased within the last three years. They may also bring a PC laptop with Microsoft Windows 7, 8, or 10 operating system, and at least 4 GB RAM of memory. Antivirus protection is the owner’s responsibility. Any user bringing a laptop must purchase an antivirus program and run regular virus scans. We also allow Apple laptops purchased within the last three years. Although iPads and other model tablets are convenient for most purposes, but the mobile apps do not provide some of the features needed in class. We will allow these (with an external keyboard attached) to be used for our program, but want families to understand potential limitations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is there anything I should do before bringing my computer to school?
Yes. We recommend you create a restore disk if directions are provided by your computer’s manufacturer upon purchase. This will backup the computer so you can restore it to “factory settings” if anything should go wrong in the future. Additionally, you must install anti-virus software if you purchase a laptop.
Should I get theft insurance for my child’s technology device?
Yes, we recommend it. Very few laptops have been stolen at school over the years, but we do encourage parents to obtain theft insurance; theft of personal technology devices are not covered by district insurance.
Should I get an extended service plan for my child’s technology device?
Yes, we recommend it. Accidents happen, computers crash, and viruses can cause havoc. Please consider adding a service plan when you purchase your child’s technology device, because your child will need a functional technology device at school each day.
Can my child use the same laptop that was used for older siblings in previous years?
Yes, if it meets the minimum requirements.
Do we need to enroll in the Bring Your Own Technology program every year?
Yes, for scheduling purposes we need a yearly commitment.
What if I need more information or have questions?
Please visit http://wlcsd.org/academics/instructional-technology/byod/. If you still have questions after reviewing the website, contact:
- Pam Shoemaker, Technology Instructional Coach. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 248-956-2027.
- Amy Stasak, Middle School Computer Resource Teacher. Email: email@example.com