Pioneer Spirit: Patriot HS Encourages Student Technology Use

| August 6, 2012 | 0 Comments | Education, Pioneer Spirit

Prince William County Schools' new "Bring Your Own Device" policy enables individual schools to set their own regulations regarding students' personal electronic devices.

Previously considered distractions to classroom instruction, students’ personal electronics will be allowed in Prince William County schools for the coming school year with the creation of the new “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) Policy.

Patriot High School is no different, as Principal Dr. Michael Bishop seeks to mesh this new policy with already existing educational innovations at the county’s newest high school.

“I believe it fits right in with what we already do,” said Bishop. “Technology, with what we already have, would also be something that contributes to a positive learning environment for students.”

Patriot senior Kari Willett also believes that the use of modern gadgets educationally benefits students.

“They play an important role in learning,” said Willett. “Most teachers require assignments to be typed now rather than handwritten, so being able to bring electronics to school allows students to be more proactive in their studies.”

Patriot junior Andrew Marrero is also excited about being able to bring his own laptop to school, not only because of the educational enhancement but also because of the convenience. During the writing of an English paper, the school computer that Marrerro was using malfunctioned and he was unable to save any documents.

“I had to try and remember everything I wrote and redo all of it at home,” said Marrero. “If I had my own laptop or iPad I could have just saved it then and there and had less work to do.”

In addition to exciting students over their studies and making their work time more efficient, this new policy is also meant to prepare students for the challenges of the modern world.

“In the 21st century we have to teach students how to use technology responsibly,” said Bishop. “There are educational activities where the use of an electronic device assists and enhances the learning for individual students.”

Even though the BYOD Policy is new for the 2012-2013 school year, Patriot has already pioneered in engaging students in learning with technology, specifically through the use of tablets.

“We did have about 30 iPads and several laptop carts as well as netbook carts in the building last year,” said Bishop. “We have trained the teachers how to use them, and the media center staff also [demonstrated] several lessons for students.”

Despite the attempts to encourage students to mesh 21st century gadgets with their learning, many students, like Marrero, were unaware of the resources that Patriot had to offer in its inaugural year.

“I didn’t even know that we had iPads in the library,” said Marrero.

Even though he is enthusiastic about the BYOD Policy, Bishop did express that this does not mean that students will have carte blanche to use electronics whenever and wherever they like.

“They must be off and/or out of sight from 7:15 am to 1:50 pm, unless the instructor has designated that the activity for class needs to utilize those electronic devices.” said Bishop. “Students will still not be able to tweet, text, or listen to their music during the day.”

Brett Warren is currently a senior at Patriot High School. He plays trumpet in the marching band and is the Advertising Coordinator for the Charge, Patriot’s student newspaper.

© 2012, Bristow Beat. All rights reserved.

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Category: Education, Pioneer Spirit

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