STATE SUPERINTENDENT'S BLOG
Teachers and Students Embrace Mobile Devices
January 11, 2012
One of the most gratifying parts of my work is to visit schools to see firsthand how hardworking and effective teachers are helping students achieve at high levels and graduate from public schools.
I recently visited an Onslow County Algebra I class along with educators from San Diego, California. All students had either smartphones or tablets to solve problems involving algebraic formulas. They were given a problem: Lynda buys a car for $20,000 and pays $75 per month for gas. Steve buys a car for $17,000 and pays $200 per month for gas. How many months will pass where both Lynda and Steve will have spent the same amount of money? The students solved this problem quickly and with ease, using their technology tools and the knowledge they had gained from their very effective teachers.
The research on smartphone and tablet use in Onslow County is very positive. Its use has been very effective in remodeling how teachers instruct and students learn. Achievement is higher, students are taking higher levels of mathematics, and students see how they can use Algebra with problems or situations they may personally face.
Teachers and administrators from as far away as California are visiting Onslow County to see the positive impact of technology in improving student outcomes. At the heart of this work are hardworking and competent teachers and administrators. While technology is integral to the academic results they are experiencing, Onslow's educators are the heroes for being excellent architects and leaders by taking advantage of student propensities to use mobile devices.
Onslow's work is just one example of how public education is being remodeled to improve student achievement and engagement. You can visit schools in Onslow County or near you to see some effective remodeling instruction in action.
I look forward to the day when all schools embrace the integral use of mobile devices, and principals can tell the entire student body and parents at the beginning of the new school year, "Our school welcomes mobile devices."
June St. Clair Atkinson