CLAYTON CO., Ga. (WXIA) -- Instead of raising their hands, students in Clayton County are more often raising their clickers.

School districts throughout Metro Atlanta have started to use the small handheld devices, but Lisa Young, director of professional learning for theClayton County Public Schools saysthey were the first, integratingthem now into75 percent of their classes at every grade level.

Mt. Zion High 11th graderJayson Gilmore says heremembers the first time he used one -- in a 7th grade math class.

"I thought it was kind of weird, I'm so used to taking out my notebooks. I was like oh, this is new,"Gilmore said. But he says he quickly embraced the technology and believes it is making a difference in the classroom. "I think it gives students a little bit more freedom to answer and not be afraid to be wrong."

With clickers, teachers can ask a question and get a real time answer on how the class, as well as each student, understands the material.

We watched as Environmental Science teacher Diller Matthews used it to quiz his students.

"I think it helps students. If you ask, 'Raise your hand if you think the answer is 'A.' Some students might be embarrassed to answer or they might wait to see if the smart kidraises his hand before deciding if he agrees," Matthews said.

In LaKeacha Jett's 4th grade class, students still have to work out the math problems before entering their answer.

"I want my students to get used to showing their work instead of just clicking because it's fun and it's exciting. It's clicking because you've shown the work and you know this is the correct answer," Jett said.

Clayton County Schools says it's students have a greater access to technology than any other similar sized district in Metro Atlanta. But the technology is only worth bragging about if it makes a positive impact.

We looked at one benchmark, the district's CRCT. The biggest gains did seem to be with 8th graders, the students who have used the clickers the longest.

In the past five years the district has seen a 15.2 percentimprovement in the number of students passing social studies, 16.5 percentmore are passing math. Students also made gains in reading, language arts and science.

"Unfortunately we can't say at the beginning of the year we're going to use clickers and the end of the year the tests are going to soar. It is over time. But I believeit is making a difference." said Young.

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