Albany Middle school is the first to receive tablets as part of a big technology overhaul. And we got a look at how students and teachers are making the transition.
Adrienne Banks, a 6th grade teacher at Albany Middle School is seeing instant results, switching from textbooks to tablets. "They've loved it," said Banks. "And it's also helped with discipline, everybody is on task, everybody is engaged."
This is part of the Dougherty County school system's one to one initiative. Albany Middle students are the first to receive the tablets, after months and months of planning.
"Oh it's great! It's very accelerated. I think it's a good experience for people who don't have a tablet at home," said Julian Hudley, a 6th grader at Albany Middle.
"They help us learn better. If we have trouble we don't have to ask our teachers, we can just use the internet," said Nyah Rogers, a 6th grader at Albany Middle.
While teachers are seeing positive results already, they expect to see improved test scores in the long run.
"I know it will improve education, because it makes it very easy to differentiate. Right now they're working on assignments specifically tailored to them, what they need based on data from other test scores," said Banks.
School officials say these tablets aren't just changing how teachers teach, it's changing how children learn.
"They've taken ownership in the tablets, this is my tablet. And they keep up with it and they're really excited and they've just been enjoying the lessons and it's changed the atmosphere of our entire school," said Eddie Johnson, Jr., the principal at Albany Middle.
An atmosphere that will lead to an overall improved education.
The school board initially approved spending $13.7 million on this initiative in July.
MLK elementary is receiving tablets now. All the students in the system will have tablets by the end of next school year.
Textbooks haven't been completely eliminated. But new legislation could make it likely for all school systems in Georgia to require something similar to tablets.
Senate Bill 89 requires instructional materials and content to be in digital or electronic format by 2020.
It will also require school systems to provide a wireless electronic device to all students by that year.
"If that bill comes to be a reality, Dougherty County will already be well ahead of the line," said Cheryl Smith, the DCSS Coordinator of Instructional Improvement. "By 2020 this will be like second nature to our students. It won't be anything new."
The bill passed the Senate and is awaiting action in the House.
Students are already required to take all their assessments online by 2020.
For additional information about the deployment of the tablets, click on the link below.