How schools use and monitor new technology in the classroom

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 2, 2016) – Almost as trendy as clothes and shoes are the tech toys that students carry around.

But schools must manage incorporating technology for learning while simultaneously making sure students don’t use it to chat or cheat in class.

The Center Grove Community School Corporation has about 7,700 students in grades K-12.

School officials say they know technology is a big part of learning, so they try to incorporate it as much as possible, but they also manage its use by implementing different rules for different grades.

For example, all 6-12 graders are given a school iPad, so they don’t need to bring their own.

However, lots of other gadgets are popular.

Elementary and middle school students have to keep all technology, except their school-issued iPad, out of the classroom during the school day. They can check those at their locker in between class or at lunch.

High school students typically don’t make it back to their locker during the day, so those students can bring all of their devices, including iPads, smart phones and Apple watches, into the classroom.

Teachers are then tasked with making sure these aren’t used in class to message one another, check social media or even cheat.

“It always starts and ends with the classroom teacher,” said Jason Taylor, Center Grove Chief Technology Officer. “They are actively monitoring the classroom to make sure that the devices are stored away when they need to be and that they can be out when they also need to be.”

Taylor also said teachers are encouraged to create questions that require critical thinking and can’t be Googled.

He said Center Grove teachers also use software on the iPads to give tests, quizzes or pass along information rather than use paper.

As for what technology he recommends to parents who may be shopping, Taylor said the Apple iPad because it lasts up to two years longer than other devices and has a touch screen, which is more progressive technology.

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