Tech Committee Brings BYOD to NDA after Study, Visits to Other Schools


Michael DeLeers, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

There have been many changes at Notre Dame in the past year, but the most notable would have to be the implementation of the Bring Your Own Device policy. Typically referred to as BYOD, the policy allows the use of laptops, tablets, and similar devices that have a minimum screen size of 7” in the classroom at the discretion of the teacher.

The policy was implemented at the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, but it had been in the works for much longer.

Notre Dame faculty decided to “move forward with investigating BYOD in the Spring/Summer of 2015,” explained Gina Fredrick,  director of technology at NDA.  “We wanted to allow ample time for faculty members to become comfortable with BYOD, which also allowed us to survey the parents, students and community during the 2015-2016 school year.”

The Notre Dame Technology Committee, which is comprised of faculty, staff and an administrator, was responsible for the decision. The committee was looking to improve education at Notre Dame and also wanted to keep up with “other great schools in terms of access to technology and teaching and learning,” said Fredrick.

BYOD has had a number of positive effects at Notre Dame as it has allowed students and teachers to have instant access to information and the ability to do in-class research instead of having to move to a computer lab or the library.

This has caused the library, a place where students would go to use computers, to cut down on the number of computers it holds, and instead start checking out devices for students to use in their classes.

The library currently checks out 30 Google Chromebooks a day but plans to get more to meet the demand of Notre Dame’s BYOD usage.

“We received a grant from the Green Bay Packer Foundation to purchase some more devices for the school, so we will be adding additional Chromebooks to the library carts,” said Fredrick.

Although BYOD has been mostly positive, it also comes with some cons; for instance, teachers cannot always monitor the screens of the students which leads some students to surf the internet instead of listening to their teacher.

Overall, BYOD has changed the atmosphere at Notre Dame. Changing from using pen and pencils to computers has made a more relaxed classroom at NDA.