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Feedback on Opening Wireless Access at EHS

CoP members,
In January, the high school wireless network will go on-line. DMTS is looking into the possibility of students with an access code having the ability to bring in their laptop/wireless device and use it during the school day for instructional purposes.
Prior to implementation, we would like your feedback on the pros and cons of allowing this to happen. What benefits would you see in your curriculum if students had access? What drawbacks do you see? Would you yourself bring a home laptop to utilize on the district network?

Please click the comment link and share your thoughts.


Jeff Krause said…
Two comments:

First, I'll believe it when I can actually use the wireless network.

Second, I would LOVE it if both students and staff could utilize the wireless network on personal computers. The only real drawback I see are security and privacy issues. Will we be able to keep the EPS network secure? Will students and staff retain the privacy of material on their computers while using the wireless service?
Anonymous said…
I would like for students to have access on a secure network with their home computers, it would give us ideas on student use of computers in school. Secondly, yes I would use my home machine at school.
B. Locklear
Anonymous said…
Using my fuzzy crystal ball, I see students using laptops throughout the middle and high schools. Students whose families who cannot afford laptops will be eligible for scholarships to buy ones, or the district will lease standaridized sturdy laptops so that each student has one. If all the texts could be downloaded onto the laptops, we could reduce the money we spend replacing textbooks and students would have less to carry and lose. Yes, we will have trouble with students trying to download material directly from the internet but if we ask questions that ask for opinion and point of view instead of basic facts, they will have to manipulate and integrate information in order to use it. We need to be proactive in the way we plan and implement laptops, just as we need to use cell phones and electronic media in a productive way. We can't ban the new electronic world, but we do need to embrace it in ways that will allow students to use it productively and politely. And no, texting a friend is not a productive use of time.
Mr. Boone said…
This IS the way of the future and we should be doing this. I would expect that this has been THOROUGHLY tested and security features are in place to prevent students from inappropriate uses and access. Jeff has valid points and we must do all we can to retain the privacy of material on our own computers, otherwise we will not bring them in (if I had my own laptop).

Students/Families must also realize that we are not responsible for lost or damaged computers that students will bring to school. They will get lost/damaged and families will need to know that we will not fix them or replace them.

It would be nice to go to online textbooks, but we also need to realize that not all students (even some that do live in Edina) can not afford to purchase their child their own computer. Until then, we can only reduce the number of textbooks we order and ask for volunteers for online textbooks.
Anonymous said…
I am all for having wireless technology throughout the school. I find myself thinking about security and tech support as two major issues of concern. Can we really require teachers and students to bring in home laptops? Will we be able to track the student/staff use of the network? I am excited about some of the possibilities this could bring, I just think we need to think through the security issues.

Mellanie Pusateri
Anonymous said…
How do you handle newer technology like the iPod touch and now other similar devices that sport a web interface allowing users to blog/wiki etc. It seems, and I've brought this up before, that routing traffic based on user or user groups would allow filtering and monitoring regardless of settings on the device. This mean users could also use the browser/device of choice. This approach has been taken by hundreds of major universities across the U.S. If you don't have a logon you don't have access. And your logon works on accessing the network/internet as well as logging on to a district owned computer.

Will this allow for 'live' collaborative processes in a classroom setting?

Others have addressed technological inequities, the haves and have nots. Will there be minimum hardware requirements? Will we, as mentioned above, be able to overcome operating system restrictions? What are the legal requirements the district must follow regarding privacy if a private device is being used?

How do we simplify access to printers for users with private devices? (Or do we allow printing?)

Will we need to establish document protocols? What open format(s) will be chosen? Do we provide training so users understand how to save or convert documents to the chosen protocol.

Do we give students access to their folders at school so they can access them 24/7?

Will this enhance an instructor's ability to create a working social network enticing to their students?

Rick Hendrickson
Tim K. said…
I'm excited about this possibility -- provided we have a way to ensure that those who don't have/can't afford laptops will be able to get one.

To answer Rick's last question, yes, I think this would "enhance an instructor's ability to create a working social network enticing to their students." It would be much easier, for example, to get my students to comment on each other's blogs if class time were provided AND I could stay in my room and not have to go to the media center.

Also, this would lessen the strain on computer time at home. Now, students couldn't say "My so-and-so needed the computer so I couldn't blog/wiki, etc.," and parents/siblings wouldn't complain about how teachers are requiring all these blogs and they can't get on the computer.
Anonymous said…
Would this change what students have access to? I know that students have restricted access on the school computers and are unable to access certain types of websites, etc. Would this change if each student had a laptop computer?
Anonymous said…
Yes, please. Wireless access would be a benefit to the classroom. We would no longer have to wait for computers in the lab. Students would be able to go online to answer questions in a more timely and authentic way during class. I do however have some concerns about kids being distracted by Youtube or the internet during class. I might not be able to compete with the latest Tina Fey video...

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