This school year at least 14 schools in five district clusters are participating in a pilot program designed to enhance learning through the use of electronic devices.
The "BYOD" pilot -- which stands for Bring Your Own Device -- is part of eCLASS, Gwinnett County's digital content, learning, assessment, and support system initiative.
As part of the pilot, select schools will allow some students and teachers to use their personal devices to access the Internet in hopes of creating better learning.
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It's a way, the district says, to prepare for the time when all students will bring their own technology to class. In the meantime, the district is also expanding its Wi-Fi capabilities and researching what kinds of devices, such as e-readers, cell phones and tablets, can be used for classroom instruction.
The five clusters currently participating, include: Archer, Berkmar, Duluth, North Gwinnett and Shiloh.
In the new issue of "eClass Innovators," the district's newsletter about electronic instruction, Sally Southerland talks about the pilot program in her Chattahoochee Elementary classroom.
In her class, the eight Kindle Fires are always in use.
"I see students engaged and conversing about what they are finding," she said. "They are not fighting over the devices; they wait their turn."
In addition to Chattahoochee Elementary, the schools participating in the pilot are:
- North Gwinnett High School, pilot used in studio classes
- Benefield Elementary, pilot used throughout the school for schoolwide for literature lessons
- Archer High, pilot used throughout the school for assessments and online collaboration
- Duluth Middle, pilot used in an eighth-grade social studies
- McConnell Middle, pilot is used in an English as Learning Language (ELL) class, as well as and eighth-grade science class to increase collaboration
- Centerville Elementary, pilot is used by teachers for staff development, and inside classrooms on a class-by-class basis based on readiness
- Harbins Elementary, pilot used in a fifth-grade class to support current work with technology integration
- Riverside Elementary, pilot used to focus on integration of active literacy strategies
- Berkmar Middle, pilot used in literature education
- Roberts Elementary, pilot used in third- through fifth-grade classes as part of a focus on literacy
- Cooper Elementary
- North Gwinnett Middle
- Shiloh Elementary