Gordon County Schools and Calhoun City Schools have updated their policies to include the use of their students’ electronic devices in classroom instruction.
Gordon County Schools updated their policies on electronic devices to improve student engagement.
“Students are allowed to use hand held communication devices for instructional purposes under the direction of the teacher,” said Dr. Bill McCown, superintendent of Gordon County Schools.
According to Gordon Central High School Principal Betty Holland cell phones must be turned off at the begin-ning of the school day and kept off until the end of the day.
“Teachers may allow students to access cell phones during class for instructional purposes only. Punishment for the 1st offense is confiscation of the phone, conference with an administrator, and parental pick up of phone,” she said.
In Calhoun City Schools students stay engaged through technology if and only if they can be responsible.
“We gave our teachers two signs; One reads, ‘absolutely no electronic devices allowed,’ and the other reads, ‘electronic devices may be used in the classroom today,’” said Calhoun High School Principal Wanda Westmore-land.
Westmoreland explained that upper level math classes may use wireless devices for calculation purposes, while general classes may use them to set up homework assignments, for internet based research or for music that is an appropriately productive method for their learning environment.
“Students are allowed to use their electronic devices for personal reasons before and after the bell, during lunch and in between classes just as the teachers do. We have a two-step punitive action policy here. The first time a stu-dent breaks the rules, their device is turned in to the office and a parent must pick up the phone the following Monday. The second time—the device is locked away until the end of the semester,” said Westmoreland.
“Technology is here to stay. (When it comes to learning) you have got to take what you’ve got and use it the right way. Wireless technology is part of who the kids are today and we want them to be responsible,” she stressed.
“Their track record is great; these kids have done a great job being responsible with the technology they bring to school and with abiding by the rules,” she said.
“Today’s kids are amazing multi-taskers. Classroom instruction from the 1950’s won’t work. What does work is helping them to be successful lifelong learners with. the technology they use in their everyday lives. It is a very productive learning tool,” Westmoreland.