Houston Students Use Mobile Devices in Class

5:20 PM, Sep 18, 2013   |    comments
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Northside High School was one of the first in the state to try out a program that not only allowed students to use mobile devices in class, but also encouraged it.

One school year later, administrators rolled the program out schoolwide.

"Students are able to look at the topics that we are discussing in more than one avenue, not just a textbook which is so static," explained Environmental Science teacher Lori Boyd.

Boyd was able to help test out the program last year. She says this year's effort is going smoothly.

She says she's able to connect the students to their lesson by using a QR code. The students scan the code with their device, then pull the lesson up online.

Boyd says students are not required to use a device in class, and will not get left behind without one.

"They can use other avenues - their book. They can share and work together and discuss it," she said.

Boyd says discussions are sometimes led online. She posts questions on a discussion board, and students answer them at their own discretion.

"Ones that might not be confident saying it out loud, once we start that discussion, they're not going to put their information in because they feel it's redundant," she explained.

Students are also using their devices to access the campus portal, which is operated through the district. From there, they can assess realtime information on their attendance and grades.

They're also encouraged to use social media.

Tre Scott, a junior at Northside, says," Edmoto is my favorite app. It's basically Facebook for school. Teachers can notify you on things that are going on in class. It helps you stay on top of the class."

"It was weird at first, but at the same time it was like, 'Why haven't we always been doing this? Why haven't we been utilizing something that could benefit us?'" said Olivia McMillian.

Other students agree with her. They say they're enjoying the benefits and are looking forward to more.

So far, 7 Houston County schools are using the program. The remaining schools will participate by the end of the year.

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