Charlotte - Mecklenburg schools (CMS) district has launched a Bring Your Own Technology (B.Y.O.T.) initiative in 21 schools. It's a goal of new superintendent Dr. Heath Morrison. He wants to have schools use more technology to inspire students to learn.
Hawk Ridge Elementary school is one of the 21 schools. Hawk Ridge ES 5th grader Danissa Brown now packs her Nook tablet when going to school to do her class work.
"Research projects," Brown said. "Mostly looking up stuff."
Students at Hawk Ridge are now equipped with Ipads, Iphones, and other technology. About 50% of the 5th graders at the school bring their own technology, while only about 40% of third and fourth graders have technology to bring. K-2 students will bring their technology starting early 2013.
School administrators say since B.Y.O.T. is now on the scene, this frees up other technology for students to use. This allows no student to be without technology.
Teachers claim this initiative is making a difference. They describe life before students were allowed to B.Y.O.T.
"It was difficult," Hawk Ridge ES Teacher Marissa Dopinao said. "An assignment that would take two weeks to do is now taking a few days, because we have access to more information, more technology."
Teachers do get professional development so they can know how to use the technology to better engage students. They believe this will increase academic achievement.
There are filters in place at the schools, so students won't be able to visit sites they are not supposed to. Teachers monitor the students, and if students don't follow the rules - they will be banned from using the technology at school.
Students hope B.Y.O.T. stays around for awhile. They notice a difference when doing their class work.
"It's more faster than pencil," Brown said. "Paper and dictionary."
So far CMS reports no problems with B.Y.O.T.
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