Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
Encouraging respectful collaboration in the technology era.
Fairfax County Public Schools is committed to working with students and staff members to create a 21st century learning environment. We strongly recommend the use of FCPS-provided devices for instruction, and we are working hard to provide access to technology for all students. Because FCPS is not yet fully a 1:1 device environment in which we can provide access to an FCPS laptop for every student, we recognize the value in supporting a BYOD program to provide access to technology and web-based FCPS resources.
The preferred BYOD device for students in FCPS is a laptop equivalent with a keyboard, which is able to connect to the FCPS WiFi and able to run Google Apps for Education, Microsoft Office products, and FCPS-approved internet browsers Google Chrome and Internet Explorer 11 or higher. While tablets, smartphones and wearable technologies are not considered an adequate substitute for an FCPS laptop in the FCPSOn environment, we do understand that those technologies may be the only option for families in a non-FCPSOn school. During the phased implementation of FCPSOn, we will continue to support non-laptop student BYOD devices. Those devices may be used in the classroom for instructional purposes, as directed by the teacher. Use of those devices for personal or recreational purposes should be kept to a minimum during the school day. Check with your school on policies around when and where personal device use, including smartphones, is allowed.
Student participation in BYOD is governed by the Student Rights and Responsibilities (SR&R) document. Parents and students are required to read and accept the acceptable use policy for student network access within the SR&R document. Note that student personal devices with a wireless connection must use the FCPS WiFi and not cellular data connections while on FCPS property.
Students and staff members access our wireless network with their personal devices (laptops, netbooks, tablets, smart phones, etc.),via our onboarding process from any FCPS building. FCPS has implemented a self-registration process that auto-directs devices to a secure, predetermined network during the registration process. Students who need help to register their device should see their school technology support team.
During the School Day
Students will use their registered devices at the guidance of their teachers to complete in class activities, check FCPS 24-7, complete homework, collaborate in real time, complete research for projects, access websites with curriculum-related content, keep track of classroom assignments, and record journal entries and other approved instructional activities. Students should only bring personal devices for a specific use in classes where the teacher has permitted them. Many schools restrict the use of personal devices in common areas. Check with your school on personal device policies to understand where and when student personal device use is allowed.
Security, Theft, or Damage
Personally owned devices, including secure storage and care of those devices, are the sole responsibility of the student. FCPS is not responsible for the security or safety of personal devices, nor for any loss, damage or theft of those devices. School technology support teams or teachers will not provide tech support for or repair personally owned devices.
Policy for Charging Personally-Owned Devices During the School Day
All devices should come to school fully charged for the day. FCPS is not responsible for providing charging stations for personally owned devices.
Application (Apps) and Software Used in the Classroom
Some applications and software used by students in FCPS are web-based and available on most devices. However, some applications and software require local installation on a device. FCPS software licensing agreements do not permit installation on personally owned devices. Students that choose to bring a personal device for instructional use in the classroom may need to purchase and install software on that device to facilitate their learning. Parents should discuss anticipated software needs with their child’s teachers prior to sending a personally owned device to school.
If a Device is Damaged at School
FCPS is not responsible for damage to personally owned devices. If a student’s personally owned device is damaged at school, the student should put the device away and take it home at the end of the school day, so that the student and parent can troubleshoot the device. FCPS does not provide tech support or repair for personally owned devices.
Internet Content Filtering
To facilitate instruction and practice internet safety, FCPS’s internet connection is protected by firewalls and internet content filtering. Per the Acceptable Use Policy in the Student Rights and Responsibilities document, students should only use the FCPS WiFi internet connection, not their cellular data connection, with their BYOD device while on FCPS property.
Purchasing a Device for Your Child
While FCPS does not recommend specific technology products, the FCPS Technology@Home program enables FCPS students and staff members to purchase and download technology products for home use directly from vendors at discount rates. It includes computers, software, and other technology products.
Activity Monitoring of BYOD Devices
The BYOD wireless system, FCPS Onboard, is used solely for device registration, not device management. FCPS does not monitor activities on BYOD devices. The purpose of FCPS Onboard is to provide an easy-to-use mechanism to register BYOD devices to allow those devices to access the FCPS network.
During the registration process, information such as IP address and MAC address are collected and logged to allow the network to recognize the device and its connection point for future logins. This information could also be used to look for a missing device, or to identify the source of any inappropriate activity discovered on our network. While it is not the intention of FCPS to actively manage, monitor, or access BYOD devices, FCPS does reserve the right to investigate all potential Acceptable Use Policy violations occurring on our network, including all FCPS and BYOD devices, to determine if any wrongdoing occurred.
- Read and accept the acceptable use policy for student network access within the SR&R document.
- Bring devices to school fully charged.
- Use only the FCPS WiFi to connect while at school and not cellular data networks.
- Keep track of personal devices and do not lend them to others.
- Get their teachers' permission before using their personal device.
- Understand which software is needed for instruction and work with parents to ensure the software is available on the personal device.
- Use personal devices for learning while at school. Non-instructional activities on personal devices should happen outside of school.
- Note that some schools may have smartphone-free zones and times. Understand the school’s smartphone policy and respect the policy.
- Work with parents to troubleshoot personal devices. FCPS cannot provide tech support for personal devices.
- Secure personal devices in lockers or backpacks. Do not ask teachers or other school staff to store or secure personal devices.