Having smart phones, iPads and Kindles in class is nothing new at Tampa's Canella Elementary
"This is my nook and I use it mostly for reading, or I'll download some math games, and I'll play those," says 4th grader Emma Yepes.
Students started bringing them to school last year as part of a new pilot program. Now, for the first time, all students in Hillsborough will be allowed to have them in class.
"Having grown up with the devices, it's very natural for them to pull it out and look [something] up. I want to know," says Tiffany Michaud, the media technology specialist at Canella Elementary.
Students can use them to access a virtual library, with thousands of online books they can check out.
Of course, there are rules. Students must have permission from their parents and their teachers. They're only allowed during certain times of the day and under teacher supervision.
Also, schools have their own wi-fi service, which only allows access to certain websites.
"It helps get them excited about the learning again. They get to add more to the lesson than just the paper, pencil and the discussions. Now they can bring in the technology and do more exciting things," says 4th grade teacher, Megan Whitehead.
And it's that excitement, teachers say, they want to encourage.
"It helps them become lifelong learners. And that's really our goal. We don't know what the future holds for these guys, but we do know that we're continuing to move forward in technology. And the more that they are exposed to it, the better off they'll be for their futures," Michaud says.
Although the district has approved the use of the devices, teachers have the final say on how and when they are allowed to be used in class.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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