In this ever-changing technological world, local schools understand the need to change with the times.
Holliston High School is in the process of implementing a bring your own device program to the school to help kids keep up with the demands of the 21st century.
"On one level, a very practical level, all we are doing is lifting the prohibition on students bringing electronic devices (laptops, iPads, etc..) to school," Superintendent Bradford Jackson said. "There is no requirement for a student to bring a device, it is just now an option."
Holliston High School has done many things to prepare for the launch of this program set to take place on Jan. 25: all classrooms are now equipped with WIFI, an instructional technology specialist has been hired and laptops have been purchased for all high school teachers.
"Technology is a useful tool in both a child's school and social life," Jackson said. "We don't expect the fundamentals of the classroom to change -teachers will always stand in front of the room to teach - but we will evolve with the times."
There are some concerns as to the affordability of the devices for all, particularly when electronic devices become part of the school supplies list in September; however, it has been made clear that financial assistance will be available to those who qualify for a free or reduced lunch, and partnerships have been made with Apple and PC laptop companies to offer families the school's discount.
"Ultimately, we expect kids to comply," Jackson said, "because it is part of the world we live in and most kids have a device. We are not expecting 100 percent compliance on the 25th of January. We are a public school and cannot require the purchase of a device."
The reality, according to Jackson, is that technology is not the only effective educational tool.
"It is an effective tool," Jackson said. "This is an evolution in education, not a revolution."
It is expected that there will be a learning curve for all, and the next few months will be a time of troubleshooting and adjusting.
"All we are really doing, on the 25th, is pulling our finger out of the dyke," Jackson said. "Eventually, I believe the dam will be demolished, and the river will flow along a new path. That path is yet to be determined."
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