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posted: 7/12/2014 8:00 AM

District 41 considering new technology policy

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By Safiya Merchant
smerchant@dailyherald.com

The Glen Ellyn Elementary District 41 school board is considering a new technology policy that could place limits on students bringing their own electronic devices into the classroom.

The new policy, written by the district's legal counsel, has been reviewed by the board's policy committee. It still must be approved by the full board, which received a draft earlier this week.

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The discussions come in the wake of the discovery earlier this year that a fourth-grader and two fifth-graders at Forest Glen Elementary School viewed pornographic material on a mobile phone while on the school playground.

An inappropriate website also was accessed by two of the same students on a classroom computer.

"Because we have so many devices in school, we don't think that there is a situation where you need to bring your own device for academic purposes," board secretary Dean Elger, who serves on the policy committee, said. "We don't think that there is a teaching need for someone to bring their own device."

Even if limits are placed on the use of personal devices in classrooms, some agreed it will be difficult to restrict their use when students are riding a school bus.

Board members also expressed a desire to differentiate between younger students and those in sixth through eighth grades.

During the discussion, Superintendent Paul Gordon said a couple of Hadley Junior High School teachers stopped him recently and they "were really frustrated with where we were going."

" ... They're like, 'They bring the (e-reader), they have all their books loaded on there, it's ready to go, they click, and you're going to take that out of their hands?'" Gordon said.

District officials will seek more input on the subject during listening sessions this summer.

They hope to have the new policy in place by the start of school this fall.

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