Students can bring their own devices to school

The Silsbee Independent School District has a new program this year called BYOD, "Bring Your Own Device," where students are encouraged to bring their lap tops, tablets and even cell phones to school.

With cell phones, iPods and tablets Silsbee middle school students sure have their hands full heading to class.

"It's just going to enhance the learning, it's going to make learning more fun, the classroom's going to be a place the kids want to go," said Silsbee superintendent Richard Bain.

This year if the teacher approves it students can use their own devices in the classroom to look up information or do research for projects.

"My understanding was it's designed to help them in the classroom," said one Silsbee mother.

Some parents are looking forward to the new "Bring Your Own Device" program while others are still on the fence.

"They're here to get an education, they're not here to get on Facebook," said another Silsbee mother who is skeptical of the program.

To use the Internet students will have to sign into the schools network with their own user name and password but the internet is filtered and limited so if they try to log onto sites like Facebook or twitter an error message will pop up and they won't be able to use the site.

In years past using cell phones in class wasn't only against the rules, parents would have to foot the bill to get them back.

"They would take it up, then it would cost a big fine for us to have to come got it back from the school and it was a real pain," said Wendy Harper remembering having to deal with the repercussions of her daughter using her cell phone in class last year.

But now with the BYOD program the risk of punishment and fines is gone.

"It's just a more exciting and fun way for the kids to get involved in the educational process," said Superintendent Bain.

And Silsbee staff hope embracing the technology students carry with them everyday will only enhance the learning in the classroom.

All Silsbee middle school students already have access to the program.

Silsbee high school students need to attend an informational meeting to sign up for the BYOD program.

The next meeting will be held on September 13th at 6:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium.


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