Administrative Procedure 161: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)

Legal References:

Education Act: Section 265 (1) (a) and (j) Duties of Principal: Maintain Order and Discipline and Care of Pupils; R.R.O. Reg. 298 Section 20 (g) and (h) Duties of Teachers: Ensure Reasonable Safety Procedures and Maintain Consistent Disciplinary Practices; Ministry of Education Policy and Program Memorandum (PPM) 128 The Provincial Code of Conduct and School Board Codes of Conduct

Related References:

The Avon Maitland District School Board believes that technology can be a powerful tool to enhance learning. As technology use plays a more and more significant role in learning, it is reasonable that some staff and students would prefer to use their own personal devices (tablets, laptops, smartphones, etc.) at school. Several factors need to be considered to ensure that BYOD is successful, safe and equitable, and does not compromise the security and efficiency of our networks.

1. BYOD Considerations

1.1 Even though portable computing technology has become increasingly more affordable, there will continue to be students whose families cannot afford to provide their own technology or who choose not to. Schools will need to have portable technology available for students who do not have their own devices. Classroom practices and expectations must take into account that not all students will have access to computing technology outside of school (i.e. at home). Steps will need to be taken to ensure equity of access for all to respond to socio-economic disparities amongst students.

1.2 With increasing numbers of devices, there is also increased potential for student misuse of technology. School staffs must be prepared to teach positive digital citizenship and critical thinking skills and to develop effective responses to inappropriate behaviours such as cyber-bullying, the sharing of personal information, and other behaviours that potentially put students at risk in online environments.

2. Permitted Uses of Personally-owned Devices

2.1 In order to maintain the security and integrity of the board’s Wide Area Network (WAN), personally-owned devices may be connected only to the AMDSB BYOD wireless network. Personally-owned devices are not permitted to connect directly to the board’s network via an Ethernet cable. It is the device owner’s responsibility to ensure that security patches and anti-virus software for the device are up-to-date.

Devices that are deemed by the IT Department to pose security risks to the network may be prevented from connecting to the network.

2.2 The IT Department reserves the right to control (throttle) bandwidth for personally owned devices to ensure adequate access for all devices and to control costs.

2.3 Students and staff should respect the need of others to work in an environment that is conducive to learning and teaching, by ensuring that cell phones and other personal mobile devices are only used during instructional time for educational purposes, as directed by an educator, for health and medical purposes, and/or to support special education needs.

2.4 Classroom teachers, in consultation with their principals will determine the extent to which students will be permitted to use their own devices within the classroom. The opportunity to do so, however, should not be unreasonably withheld.

2.5 The opportunity to “Bring Your Own Device” is a privilege extended to students and staff of the Avon Maitland District School Board for the purpose of enhancing the educational experience for students in support of student achievement. This privilege is not intended for personal entertainment and other activities of a personal nature. Students and staff are expected to comply with the school and board codes of conduct, Administrative Procedure 140 Technology: Responsible Use and Security, Administrative Procedure 320 Responsible Use of Internet and Electronic Devices by Students, and Administrative Procedure 190 Copyright.

2.6 During non-instructional time, personally-owned devices may be used by students for personal purposes subject to the conditions outlined in Administrative Procedure 320 Responsible Use of Internet and Electronic Devices by Students and provided that the use of the device does not result in excessive bandwidth consumption (as determined by the AMDSB IT Department). 

3. Student Responsibilities

3.1 Students under the age of eighteen (18) who have been asked to bring their own device to school for educational purposes are to seek parental permission before bringing their personally-owned devices to school.

3.2 Students are responsible for learning how to connect their devices to wireless networks, for understanding how their device functions, and for downloading or installing any apps or programs that they need to use their devices for school purposes.

3.3 Students are responsible for the security of their own devices while they are being used at school. This means taking appropriate steps to identify the device (i.e. record its serial number, inscribe a name on it, etc.), to provide a secure way to transport the device to and from school, and to ensure that the device is kept in a secure manner or location when not in use in the classroom.

3.4 Students are required to comply with the expectations of the classroom teacher regarding when, where, and for what purpose personally-owned devices may be used in the classroom and follow the conditions outlined in the “Acceptable Use Conditions” (Appendix A).

4. Parent/Guardian Responsibilities

4.1 Parents/guardians are responsible for ensuring that their child is mature and responsible enough to bring a personally-owned device to school and to use it appropriately. For students under the age of eighteen (18), an “Acceptable Use Conditions” (Appendix A) will be made available to parents with the expectation that these conditions are followed. Parents may choose to provide the school with information pertaining to identification of the personally-owned device in order to assist with tracking should the device go missing.
Note: Security of the device is the responsibility of the student and not the school.

4.2 Parents are responsible for ensuring that the device is functioning properly, contains the necessary apps or software to be used at school, and that their child knows how to connect to a wireless network and understands how to use the device.

4.3 Parents are responsible for making any necessary repairs to the device and to ensure that it is free of viruses, malware, spyware, etc. and that security patches are up to date. 

4.4 Parents need to be aware of school and board expectations for the use of personal devices and aware of teachers’ expectations for classroom use of personal devices to ensure that their child complies with these expectations. 

5. School Responsibilities

5.1 The school and/or classroom teacher will be responsible for informing parents/guardians and students when, where, and how BYOD will be implemented.

5.2 The school and/or classroom teacher will ensure that students and parents are given access to the “Acceptable Use Conditions” (Appendix A), and that proper communication has been provided to parents regarding the rationale and conditions of BYOD.

5.3 The school and/or classroom teacher will work with students to choose the apps or programs that will work best on their devices.

5.4 The school and/or classroom teacher will provide instruction to students on how to use the selected programs and on appropriate and inappropriate use of technology in the classroom. 

5.5 The principal and school staff will determine suitable consequences for inappropriate use of personally-owned devices, in keeping with the expectations of AMDSB Administrative Procedures and school and board codes of conduct. The school will also be responsible for communicating expectations to staff, students, and parents.

5.6 Staff may use personally-owned devices for personal use during breaks, at lunchtime, and during preparation and marking time, provided that the usage is compliant with Administrative Procedure 140 Technology: Responsible Use and Security and provided that the use does not result in excessive bandwidth consumption (as determined by the AMDSB IT Department).

6. The Responsibilities of the IT Department

6.1 The IT Department will monitor wireless network traffic to eliminate bottlenecks and make the system as efficient as possible. As new management technology becomes available, the IT Department will work to continuously improve the functionality of the wireless network. 

6.2 The IT Department will notify school principals of any activity by a student or staff member that may compromise the integrity and security of the network. Network access may be suspended or removed altogether for individuals who use the wireless network inappropriately. 

6.3 The IT Department will provide a list of basic troubleshooting tips for connecting to the network and will assist in identifying connectivity issues. However, the IT technicians and TRAs will not perform diagnostics, repairs, or updates on personally owned devices.

6.4 Learning Trainers will provide staff training on programs recommended for use by various departments. A list of such apps and programs will be developed by the Learning trainers, Program and Learning Services Departments and will be shared with schools.

7. Review of BYOD Administrative Procedure

7.1 Due to the frequent changes occurring in technology, usage, and wireless networking, this Administrative Procedure will be regularly reviewed by the Administrator of Information Technology Services to ensure that it is updated to meet the changing needs of our students, staff, and schools.

Appendix A - Acceptable Use Conditions

Amendment August 2021