Atlanta Schools lifting its cell phone ban

12:30 PM, Mar 12, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Starting this week, Atlanta Public Schools lifts its cell phone ban.

Parents of "all" students can request a waiver to allow their children to have those phones in school. Up until now, only high school students could carry them, put parents of all students can now ask permission for their children to have phones.

The catch is they can ONLY be used in case of an emergency.

Some Metro districts actually encourage kids to bring phones to school. In one Forsyth County classroom, teachers are using cell phones as research tools.

Their assignment in this Spanish Class at Otwell Middle School is to research their favorite sports stars, and, do it using whatever technical device they've brought from, including cell phones.

"It's just become second nature to kids in Forsyth County," said teacher Jenna Greene. "When we say pull out your cell phones, they pull them out."

"We're used to it," said student Riley Jayne. "We've been doing it since elementary school."

Forsyth County became a BYOT -- or bring your own technology - school, for ALL grade levels.

As Atlanta Public Schools considers allowing students to have them in middle and high schools, kids here can't imagine they don't already do allow it.

"It just makes learning way, way fun," said student Gavin Mitchell.

That's because teachers are strongly encouraged to incorporate technology into academics. And, will even give assignment specific to cell phones such as giving them a question and having them text in their answer.

Still the idea of kids having cell phones all day wasn't something teachers initially embraced.

"I was completely against it at first," said Greene. "This is really the first year that I've really implemented into my classroom on a weekly basis, just because I thought students would just text and try to check Facebook and things like that."

About the possibility of cheating - teachers say they no longer worry. There are rules.

"Don't play any games on your phone. Don't have 'em out when you shouldn't," said Riley.

Teachers say they can tell when a student is looking at a phone to cheat -- if they turn out the lights and the lights from the phones are on, or if the students are looking down constantly.

 

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