LONGVIEW/GREGG COUNTY (KYTX) - Pine Tree ISD is transitioning from textbooks to technology. And students are encouraged to bring their smart phones and laptops right into the classroom for their everyday studies."
This not quite what you'd expect to see when you walk into a high school classroom. But these students are in fact doing research in their geography class.
"We really felt at Pine Tree that we needed to move in the direction of technology."
Assistant Principal Tony Tipton says the district needed to find a cost efficient way to make that possible.
"One of the quickest and most efficient ways to do that was to utilize the devices the students already had."
So the superintendent worked closely with Pine Tree High School's Student Council President, Caleb Chappell, and approved B.Y.O.D, a new program that allows students to 'bring your own device.'
"This is working out better because now there's more freedom, there's more innovation going on and the students are able to use this in the proper manner."
They're mostly used for research purposes and the school provides laptops for students who don't have smart phones or tablets.
To be sure the students are using the devices responsibly, the high school has created The 5 Non-negotiable B.Y.O.D rules:
- The teacher determines whether or not they can be used on a daily basis.
- Devices must be silenced or on vibrate all the time.
- Photos and video/audio recordings are not allowed to be taken.
- Cell phone calls cannot be made or received during the instructional day without permission.
- Any use of technology for academic dishonesty could result in consequences or loss of B.Y.O.D privileges.
Tipton says this new Program has even the teachers in learning mode.
"In some cases they're teaching us more than we're teaching them."
"It feels great, I mean when you don't know the answer to a question and the teacher doesn't know, you can pull out your phone and just Google it."
Keeping everyone engaged and involved...
"It's a learning experience for the students and the teachers throughout the whole year. It's going to help the campus and the whole district."
And no student will go without access to technology in some form.
Pine Tree ISD is working on what they like to call a 1 to 1 ratio, one computer for every student.
The Assistant Principal of Pine Tree High School says the district is always looking for new ways educate their students while keeping them connected the world outside of campus. He says the district is working to add more technology equipment to build onto the B.Y.O.D program.