Schools Encouraging Students to Bring Technology to Class - WSET.com - ABC13

Schools Encouraging Students to Bring Technology to Class

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Bedford Co., VA - High School students in Bedford County won't have to sneak to use their smart phones or iPods in school.

Teachers are now asking teens to bring the gadgets to class. It's part of a new program called "Bring Your Own Technology."

Bedford County school leaders are pushing to bring more online courses and technology to students.

"Yesterday, I took a virtual tour of pre-historic art and the French caves through a website. And I had video discussion for government," said Lydia Brown, a senior at Jefferson Forest High School.

"We can get on the website on our phone, it's almost like a quiz, it's an interactive question answer type of deal," said Grace Parker, a senior.

Teachers allow the students to use everything from iPod Touches, iPads, Kindles and Nooks for instruction. Some teachers are even using them to help kids too afraid to raise their hand in class.

"He's trying to set it up where your phone connects to his email. You can just text it to him, or email him your question, and he will pop it up," said Rickki Jones, a senior.

"Students seem to work much better with the technology it really engages them, said Tony Francis, principal of Jefferson Forest High School .

Francis says since they started the program, discipline problems are down, and the kids' tech savviness is up.

"We feel like we're teaching students how to use technology in the appropriate manner, how they would in the workforce and the college setting," he said.

Students are just happy for the extra freedom.

"Between classes and during lunch we're allowed to use our cell phones now which I just love, because well people did it anyways," said Stephanie Kerr, a senior at JFH.

"I like to be able to check things that are going on in the outside world from inside school," said A.J. Wagner, a senior at JFH.

The program is being used at all three high schools in Bedford County.

The school system says this program will save them money since they won't have to buy as many gadgets. Since these kids are on the Internet so much, the school system says they also teach Internet safety.

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