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Two Southside School Systems Are Allowing Mobile Devices in the - abc27 WHTM

Two Southside School Systems Are Allowing Mobile Devices in the Classroom

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Henry Co., VA - In most schools, using cell phones in school would land students in the principal's office, but Martinsville High School Principal Angie Weinerth won't be writing her students up anytime soon.

"It is part of their lives, so we realize we have to teach them the appropriate use, " Weinerth said.

Martinsville High School is in its second year of a pilot program to allow students to bring cell phones to school.

Students can use them in the cafeteria - where charging stations line the walls, but most importantly, teachers are using them in the classroom.

"They can follow the news or they can do research or they can follow current events, "said Superintendent Pam Heath.

Not far away, Henry County is getting ready to begin a Bring Your Own Technology Program at its high schools.

"Students will be able to use their smartphones and tablets and computers for educational purposes, rather than just texting or Facebook, " said Dir. of Technology Janet Copenhaver.

County officials hope to show students the endless possibilities that mobile devices provide for finding what they need to know in a flash.

"Information is available from all aspects, but what's important for students to do is to learn how to use that information and how to critique that information, " said Superintendent Jared Cotton.

Both school systems say there are rules for where cell phones can and cannot be used, as well as times - like testing - when they must be turned off, but these educators are ready to use these tools - right at our fingertips - to take students to new heights.

"It's not what knowledge you have, it's what you can do with it, " Heath said.

Both divisions wanted to stress that it is not necessary for students to have the latest technology just to participate.
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