3. Expenses related to laptops and Wi-Fi: District technology staff had to move Wi-Fi access points from classroom to classroom.
Newcomb said the program has had an overwhelmingly positive impact on students and teachers, because both groups are much more engaged in their lessons and spend more time on task.
“Students who weren’t always participating are the ones who are opening up now,” he said. Some teachers might be afraid to relinquish classroom control when students know more about the smart phones than teachers do, but Newcomb said he leverages students’ knowledge and lets them come to the front of his classroom to share what they have discovered.
“The overall goal is to provide a positive learning experience for every student,” Menchhofer said. “There are people who will challenge what you’re doing, but the people who challenge you will not come in to see what your students and teachers are doing, because they’ll be proven wrong.”
The district penalizes students for inappropriate use of the devices, and Menchhofer said that students learn early on what is and is not appropriate for in-school use.
“Mobile learning reaches all learners,” Newcomb said, adding that many of his special-education students have really benefited from using smart phones in class.
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