School considers increasing student access to technology

By Gary Brode |

Published 02/19 2014 04:42PM

Updated 02/19 2014 05:14PM

URBANA -- Urbana Middle School may soon allow students to have personal electronics in the classroom. Currently, kids can only have e-readers in class and no cell phones, but the principal believes it's time to use more technology in class.

Besides Kindles, students can use laptops and iPads. Principal Scott Woods hopes it will allow teachers to be more creative in the classroom. If a teacher requires a lesson with internet access, the school already has iPads students can borrow.

The board allows each school to make decisions regarding technology. It's still in the early stages of planning.

The idea started when Principal Woods visited a school in Minnesota which uses the same policy. There are still a few questions, like whether they should allow students to have smartphones.

The school is wireless, but the other worry is kids could turn off the WiFi and use their own data. Next week, teachers and administrators will get together to figure out a policy.

There is an online survey parents can take until Friday. There will be a meeting with parents March 11. Woods says he hopes to have some classes with electronics in the spring and, if that goes well, then the entire school could use personal electronics in August.

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