Take advantage of technology


Since I was born in the 90s I think is fair to say that I have grown up in an advanced technological era. Fast forward to now, certain devices have become digital swiss army knives. These devices aren’t just used for solely for communication anymore. They can be used to access the internet, educational apps, and interactive videos. If enforced properly, cellphones and tablets should be used in the classroom to advance our education.

On April 19th a law was passed giving Georgia school districts the option to use cellphones and tablets in the classroom for educational purposes. If granted for a particular school system, the law would give teachers the choice of incorporating cellphones and tablets into their lesson plan.

Georgia Representative Mike Dudgeon, proposer of the bill, first recognized the benefits of the bill after his local school system, Forsyth county, accidentally realized that they were breaking the law. “When Forsyth county started doing it they didn’t think anything about it and then they discovered that what they were doing was technically illegal,” Dudgeon said.

Because of their illegal actions the school applied, and was accepted, for a waiver from the state allowing their district continued use of cellphones.

The waiver was a success because it was a natural change for students. “It has worked great because your generation and younger ones have grown up dealing with computers and phones since they were old enough to talk,” Dudgeon said. “Learning through electronic devices seems totally normal to them.”

Cellphones during class were more than just natural for the students, they helped them focus. “Forsyth County has been very successful in getting kids to pay more attention,” Dudgeon said. “The more attention the kids pay, the more they learn.”

Decatur should follow in Forsyth’s footsteps. This technology is not just more natural to students, but has educational benefits as well. According to Dudgeon, teachers from Forsyth have used cellphones for dictionaries, translators, online videos, and even as a poll for homework questions.

The big argument against cell phones is their ability to distract students throughout day. This can be avoided by following another Forsyth example. “In Forsyth County schools there is a particular day and a particular time you can have them while you’re in that lesson and once that is over there is a ban,” Dudgeon said.

These technologies aren’t going to disappear so we might as well embrace them. There are places where this has already worked effectively.

Many other school systems are embracing this law. “What we’re seeing is more and more school systems are using those devices as part of the lesson plan, ” Dudgeon said.

Lets do the same in Decatur.