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Wake County Schools To Ask Students To Bring Electronic Devices

iPad with a notebook next to it
Sean MacEntee
Flickr/Creative Commons

Thirteen public schools in Wake County will soon be asking students to bring their tablets, smartphones, iPads and laptops to class.

The elementary, middle and high schools are participating in a pilot program called BYOD, or Bring Your Own Device, that will be rolled out over the next couple of months.

Wake County School officials say the idea is to make sure the devices are being used for instructional purposes and to improve access to technology during the school day. They say that if more students bring their own devices then more will have access to the school’s computers and other resources.

Marlo Gaddis, the district’s Senior Director of Instructional Technology and Library Media Services, said the program will also teach students how to turn their personal devices into learning tools.

“We want to make sure our students start to understand their role as far as digital citizenship and what it means to be digital in school,” Gaddis said.

Gaddis said teachers who will be participating in the program are currently having discussions around what it means to have multiple types of devices in the classrooms and how to provide equitable access.

“One of the things we've emphasized in this is that teachers and students and schools need to take this slow and be methodical and strategic on how they use the devices in the classrooms,” she said

State school officials say more and more BYOD programs are popping up in districts throughout North Carolina.

Reema Khrais joined WUNC in 2013 to cover education in pre-kindergarten through high school. Previously, she won the prestigious Joan B. Kroc Fellowship. For the fellowship, she spent a year at NPR where she reported nationally, produced on Weekends on All Things Considered and edited on the digital desk. She also spent some time at New York Public Radio as an education reporter, covering the overhaul of vocational schools, the contentious closures of city schools and age-old high school rivalries.
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