Cobb County Schools will be launching a program that will allow students to use their cell phones in class to aid instruction, and Northeast Cobb's .
"We are constantly searching for ways to more effectively engage our students without spending a lot of money," said Principal David Nelson.
Nelson said he was contacted by Dr. Judith Jones, Chief Academic Officer of the , near the end of the last school year to see if he would be interested in joining the program.
The initiative is designed to spur engagement and encourage students to think about problems on a higher level. For example, teachers have been taught how to create QR (Quick Response) Codes, and will be placing them on worksheets, classroom posters, and other locations to direct students to a particular web site or piece of information.
This innovation comes just as Georgia Schools begin implementing Common Core Curriculum standards. This new curriculum is designed to make students achieve a depth of knowledge unheard of under Bloom's Taxonomy, the current educational model. "Common Core," as Nelson called it, focuses more on the cognitive process and will help American children compete with their peers in other countries in the global economy.
Core Curriculum is more rigorous than the former curriculum used in the state. An example assessment question from the old curriculum may ask a student to read a paragraph and answer multiple-choice questions about the section. Common Core questions will ask the student to read several passages and forumlate an essay defending their response, including citing outside materials.
Faculty and staff at Daniell are excited to see how the program plays out next year.
"I had a teacher come up to me while we were training to use the system and say to me, 'I would love to be a part of this,'" Nelson said.
The school is not jumping into the new program haphazardly, though. Initially, only four teachers will be using the "bring your own device" tools. The program will initially focus on eighth grade math and science before potentially expanding to other areas of learning.
Students who dream of being able to take out their phone in class and check Facebook without reproach will be disappointed, as well.
"The cell phones would only be used in special parts of the lesson," Nelson said. Teachers would structure their lessons so that there is a period for students to use their devices and a period to put their devices away. Additionally, a filter will be set up on the school's network to prevent students from accessing inappropriate sites.