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Hudson -- Electronic devices once viewed as distractions in the classroom are now encouraged as tools for teaching.
As of Jan. 22, high school students are allowed to register a personal wireless electronic device for the Hudson City School District's "bring your own device" program at Hudson High School.
The district is moving toward a one-to-one student-to-computer ratio throughout the district to allow students to utilize online resources and tools, according to Doreen Osmun, Hudson Schools director of curriculum and instruction.
The "bring your own device" initiative aims to improve student learning, allow students to use devices they are familiar with, and to help teach 21st century skills, making students college and career ready, according to Osmun.
Students can register laptops, electronic notebooks, electronic readers, and a variety of touch pad devices and smart phones. The district will not allow gaming devices, Osmun said.
The move toward electronic devices could save the district money with online textbooks and novels, and moving classrooms to a "green environment," she said.
"This could potentially be a cost savings," Osmun said. "But we don't know how much that will be."
Teachers are also using a variety of electronic devices to teach classes, Osmun said. The district has also expanded its Internet capacity and increased wireless access points, she added.
"There are some students who do not have access to these devices," she said. "We are working on solutions to this."
A potential solution would be making devices available for students to sign out from the school, Osmun said.
Students and their parents must sign up before students can use the wireless network, according to Osmun.
The network will also contain fire walls and virus protection, and students will be taught how to use the system in a responsible manner, she added.
"Our children are safe, they cannot just go out and Google just anything," Osmun said.
In March, middle school students will be allowed to join the program. There are no plans to implement the program at elementary schools.
However, students at East Woods Elementary School, which houses students in fourth and fifth grades, are allowed to use personal electronic devices, with the permission the child's teacher. The devices will not have access to the Internet.
Students can register for wireless access for their device at http://www.hudson.edu/StudentBYOD/ .