Laptop policy changes emerge

Students have found it a little easier this year to use their electronic devices in many classes, due to a clarification in the rules made by Principal Greg Freeman.

Alief ISD policies still restrict the use of electronic devices such as cell phones and laptops on campus, but while students are not supposed to have their devices out during the school day, Freeman said it is up to teachers to decide whether students can use their phones or laptops in class.

“Some people have to use a calculator or they have reasons and the teacher says its okay for them to use their phone,” he said. “I don’t mind it at all because it’s for instruction.” If students are listening to music as they work, he added, the phones should be “put away somewhere,” not left out on the desk.

Students can also bring their own laptops as long as they do not use them to access the internet during class. However, enforcement of the laptop rule can vary depending on the center: some do not allow personal devices at all because using a personal hotspot would allow students to go on websites not intended for educational purposes. Students should be sure they know the rules of the center they are in.

Freeman confirmed that Wi-Fi will be available on campus later this year, at least for use with school devices like netbooks and tablets.

“I will be really happy at some point when students are able to access the internet when we go wireless,” he said. “I’m excited about that. We need to start using more technology. You guys have a lot already at home that you can bring or in your hands, in your pockets. And we need to use that technology for education.”