MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - Classrooms in Mobile County will be getting a facelift in August. It won't be new paint. It won't be new landscaping. Instead, it will be in the hands of students. Books, pens, and paper will be stepping aside as a new device comes to the classroom.
The Mobile County Public School System is implementing a program called BYOD, that's Bring Your Own Device. According to officials with MCPSS, it's a new, fun, and interactive way for students to learn in a classroom setting while saving the school system a lot of money.
"This particular tool allows students to take pop quizzes or tests that the teacher makes up. They can take those on the fly very quickly. The can answer those tests at their own pace. And then the teacher gets immediate feedback," said Mobile County Public School System Director of Technology David Akridge.
Akridge said the school system has been planning this for five to six years. The system wasn't sure what to expect. The result so far, he said, is impressive.
"One of the things we're finding is the kids already know. There's no learning curve for them. It's mainly just: get in the classroom and go," Akridge said.
He also said every child will not be left out and that cross-platform programs are in place and are being tweaked often to accompany new devices.
Many educators said they never thought they would see the day these types of devices would be used in the classroom setting.
FOX10 wanted to know what happens if a student doesn't own these types of devices?
"We use it in group work for the most part, and it works out great. I've never had a child not want to share a device. But the kids are really willing to share and they like working together; they would rather work in a group," Akridge said.
Students at the MCPSS Magnet School of Math, Science, and Technology are using the devices for all subjects.
"I like it because you don't have a teacher right by your side all the time, and you don't have someone telling you the answers most of the time, and I feel more free," said fourth grader Camryn Gipson.
Principal Michelle Dubose-Adams said the kids are eager to learn in a new way, and she encourages it.
"Now, technology is a way of what we do every day. A large number of children already had iPhones or iPods. So as long as it was WI-FI they were able to access the internet here at school. And my goal now is: why not?"
Akridge said Burns, Mobile Magnet School, and Council are already using the BYOD program. Dawes Elementary, Hutchins, and Causey start later this month.
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