Illinois School District Finds Little Interest in ‘Bring Your Own’ Computer Policy

Few students participated in the pilot project, resulting in a policy implementation delay.

by Robert Connelly, The Register-Mail / October 18, 2018

(TNS)  — While the Knoxville District 202 School Board reviews annual updates to its policies, one has become a bit noteworthy.

Knoxville Superintendent Steve Wilder said he asked the board at its meeting Monday night to hold off on approving a policy as it related to students bringing their own technology devices to school.

Wilder wants time to review the district's policy, which underwent a pilot program at Knoxville High School last school year, and the recommended policy.

"The pilot went very slow just because we had very few parents and students who were interested in doing it," Wilder said. "We didn't have any issues with using the devices inappropriately, to our knowledge."

But the lack of interest in the bring your own computer device was a bit of a surprise to Wilder.

"The technology the district provides for a $50 tech free for most students and their families is a great option ... this year the Chromebooks are brand new and working out really well," Wilder said.

"I think a lot of students are pretty happy with that option and that cost so that's probably why we haven't seen a ton" of bring your own device requests.

Speaking of those new Chromebooks, Wilder said the district is still in the process of making some of the district laptops, which were used by students for four years, available for sale.

"The one challenge that we didn't anticipate that we did find was the operating system on those laptops is licensed through the school district so you don't want a hurdle" for someone that buys one of them, he said.

"Not only will they need to pay for the device itself, so when we get (to selling them) we will try to make it as reasonable as possible and then they will have to purchase" the software to run programs, such as Microsoft Windows "so we're trying to factor those into what we think would be a reasonable sale price," Wilder said.

In other action, individual board members will make themselves available to district parents during the next Knoxville Community Dinner, to be hosted on Nov. 13. This is a different approach than the traditional town halls.

The school board has gone away from that traditional setting due to low attendance and are trying different formats to still gain some feedback from district parents or students.

©2018 The Register-Mail, Galesburg, Ill. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.