Project Copernicus Frequently Asked Questions
What is Project Copernicus?
Project Copernicus is a pilot project that seeks to understand the implications for student learning,
curriculum, instruction, network security, and technical support if students are encouraged to bring
their own computing devices to school. This project will help the school district prepare for the day
when all students are bringing their own technology instead of relying exclusively on the tools the
school district provides.
Nicolaus Copernicus (b. 1473) was the first astronomer to propose that the sun, rather than the Earth,
occupies the center of our solar system. The Copernican theory challenged the conventional wisdom,
but the overwhelming evidence in favor of his idea eventually convinced his critics. Unfortunately for
Copernicus, it took more than 200 years for that to happen. Project Copernicus represents a new
approach to utilizing technology for student learning by putting students at the center of our
technology integration efforts.
What kind of computing devices will be allowed?
Parents and students should consult with classroom teachers before bringing any computing devices to
school. A signed permission form will be required before any equipment is allowed in the classroom.
Depending on the grade level, a list of possible devices would include a laptop computer, “netbook”
computer, portable media player such as an iPod Touch, or cell phone.
What learning resources will be available for student‐owned equipment?
Any device that supports wireless networking will be able to access the school district’s wireless, public
network. The public wireless network provides fast, filtered internet access, but no direct access to
internal network resources for security reasons. All students will have access to a school email address
and online document collaboration through Google Docs. A variety of other web‐based tools such as
the Moodle online learning system may be used by individual teachers with their classes.
What if my student’s computing device is stolen or broken while at school?
When not in use, teachers will make every reasonable effort to protect the students’ computing devices
against theft by locking them in a secure cabinet. Ultimately, neither the school district nor the
classroom teacher is responsible in the event that a device is stolen or damaged. Students and parents
will assume that risk if they choose to send a device to school.
What about students who don’t have a computing device?
Teachers will never assume that all students have a computing device. Participation in this pilot project
is optional, and no student will be penalized for not bringing a device.