In a Pa. School District, Rethinking a Gadget Ban

Marion Herbert's picture
Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It's a wired world, and school district officials are taking notice, in some cases even changing their long-standing policies banning students from bringing personal technology into the classroom.

Delaware Valley School District in Pike County recently updated its policy to allow students to have, and silently use, electronic communication devices at certain times during the day.

Stroudsburg Area School District is looking into a similar policy for its high school.

"We are envisioning personal technology to be used as an additional resource, similar to a library. If used properly, it's a library that kids carry with them," said Stroudsburg Superintendent John Toleno.

Stroudsburg officials announced their plans to revisit the district's personal technology policy during the July school board meeting.

Teachers expend a great deal of energy trying to enforce the district's current policy, which prohibits students from bringing personal technology, including laptops, iPads, Kindles, MP3 players, cell phones and similar devices, into school.

Most of the time, students bring those devices into the building anyway, Toleno said.

"We are in a day and age of technology," Toleno said. "By making the kids turn these things off when they get to school, I think we are doing a disservice to these kids."

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