Hillsborough allows kids to have gadgets in class - WJBF-TV ABC 6 Augusta-Aiken News, Weather, Sports

Hillsborough allows kids to have gadgets in class

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HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, FL (WFLA) -

Personal technology used to be banned from school. Now, in some Hillsborough County classrooms, teachers encourage their students to use their smart phones and tablets.

The Hillsborough County School Board recently agreed that students should be allowed to use gadgets, if the teacher okays it.

In Amanda Morin's seventh grade Civics Class at Walker Magnet Middle School, there's just about one smart phone, per every text book. Her students use a program called Socrative.

"I upload a quiz and the question and response is on the app," Morin said. "It's faster and it also allows them to get more information than the text book."

Morin says technology encourages her students to become independent learners.

"It allows kids to fully engage in learning discussions on the next level," Morin said. "Instead of the teacher giving them the answer, they can go to devices and take discussion to another level."

Several schools piloted the "Bring Your Own Device" program before the school board passed it. Walker was one of those schools and the students are used to having technology in the classroom.

The gadgets come with rules. Students aren't allowed to use phones or tablets during passing periods. Not all teachers allow the technology. No social media is allowed.

"I'm tempted sometimes to text and use social media," seventh grader Lorie Rodriguez, said. "But I've seen kids get their phones taken away and I don't want mine taken away."

Kaitlyn Gaw always brings technology to class. She says it's part of her everyday life.

"My parents are like go outside I'm like there's nothing to do out there," Gaw said. "It's boring."

The principal at Walker says kids aren't required to have personal technology and he understands if parents don't feel comfortable sending their students with expensive gadgets.

Rodriguez thinks it's a great way to get ahead of the game.

"Most stuff in jobs is on computers or something electronic we have to learn now so we wont be confused in life." 

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