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Pilot program encourages phones at school

By Associated Press


CHUGIAK, Alaska >> Some schools in the Anchorage School District are welcoming electronic diversions.

Chugiak, Eagle River and East high schools, along with Romig Middle School, are participating in a pilot program that will allow students to use smartphones, laptops and tablets for educational uses.

It will be up to individual teachers and students to opt into the Bring Your Own Device — or BYOD — program, the Chugiak-Eagle River Star reported.

In classrooms where students are allowed to use the devices, they will connect to the school's Wi-Fi for filtered Internet access.

Eagle River High School Principal Marty Lang said the program seeks to teach students to use their phones as learning tools.

"We want to harness that technology," he said.

Chugiak High School Principal David Legg is promoting the program, which is a shift from the district's previous prohibition of such devices in the past.

"Rather than restricting the use, it's to encourage the use," he said.

"It's not just about letting kids use phones in class," Lang added. "It's about teaching them how to be responsible users."

The district will evaluate the program at the end of the school year.

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bluebowl wrote:
Forward thinking at its best.
on August 18,2013 | 08:02AM
lifescienceswahiawa wrote:
Teaching the students to use their phones (and computers and tablets) as learning tools is the smart thing to do because that is what they already have in their possession 24/7. I realize there are concerns over security and property, but I believe the benefits outweigh the dangers.
on August 18,2013 | 08:20AM
nodaddynotthebelt wrote:
I can see where this would be useful in education. I remember the days when calculators were not allowed in the classroom (does that date me?). There was a reason for that. Before you can use the calculator you have to know how to do the process such as multiplication and division. But again, how do they deal with the have-nots? It puts them at a disadvantage. If they are going to allow smart phones etc. to be used in the classroom, they must ensure that the students who do not have those luxuries have access to those things. Many adults do not have smart phones. So you cannot expect most of the students to have one. This is where the haves and have nots become apparent. It can lead to elitist attitudes and the feeling of inadequacies. Even outside of class it is apparent to kids that others have more. But to shove it in their face that their classmates have all the equipment to succeed while they do not is going to affect them psychologically. So if they are going to allow for these electronics to be used in the classroom they should have contingencies for those whose family cannot afford it. I grew up not having the luxuries that other children had and know personally how it affects your psyche. That feeling of inadequacy and at times shame can be debilitating. Now that I have my own children I can understand that and even though they are in private school where the haves are predominately enrolled they can run into the same thing. Schools need to understand that when they add a game changer they should take into consideration the have nots.
on August 18,2013 | 09:38AM
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