Bring Your Own Technology is an optional policy for Tasmanian state schools

Smartphone
Smartphone

Computer use continues to play a significant role in secondary school classrooms.

Key data released by the Education Department shows there is one computer for 1.5 secondary and senior secondary students in 2018.

This has grown from 1.2 in 2016, 1.4 in 2017 for secondary students and 1.3 in 2016, 1.2 in 2017 for senior secondary students.

The data shows more students are needed to access computers in secondary schools, however, the data does not delve into access to smartphones, despite Bring Your Own Device policies being in place in state schools. 

Parents have raised concerns about access to mobile phones in high school classrooms potentially being used for research purposes, rather than laptops or tablets.

The concerns raised include students’ access to smartphones, rather than laptops, because it allows them more access to social media and other apps.

An Education Department spokeswoman said Bring Your Own Technology policies was an optional choice for all Tasmanian state schools. Bring Your Own Technology covers smartphones, laptops and tablets.

“Implementing a BYOT program is a school-based decision that must be undertaken in consultation with and supported by staff and the school community,” the spokeswoman said.

“Computers and devices play an essential role in Tasmanian schools. However it is important that their use empowers students and enhances their learning opportunities.”

IN OTHER NEWS:

The spokeswoman said BYOT policies “cannot be used” as a replacement for the school providing ICT devices for student use.

“Schools should view BYOT as an approach that enhances and extends opportunities to use their own devices for learning,” the spokeswoman said.

“While every student has access to computers provided by the school, there are occasions when schools and their community may opt to explore the use of students’ own devices for learning.”

“Every school BYOT program has a strong onus on equity. This includes ensuring that students are not left behind and that parents are not confronted with unrealistic expectations, because we understand that not all parents can or want to send their child to school with a BYOT device.”