School district gives every third grader a smart phone

What will these kids expect from college in nine years when it's time for them to enroll? 

Gobles schools to give smart phones to 3rd graders to access high-speed Internet
They look like an ordinary Verizon “smart” phones.

But the $60 handheld devices have the potential to transform education in Gobles Public Schools, according to school officials.

The district is spending about $45,000 to give a Verizon smart phone and high-speed Internet service to every third-grader.

The phone and texting functions on the devices will be blocked, but the 75 children will be able to access the Internet. The mobile learning devices also will be loaded with educational software.

“It’s like a mini computer,” Gobles Superintendent Brenda Wilson said.

The expectation is that children will be able to do many of their assignments on their devices, including homework. One advantage is that teachers will be able to create more individualized worksheets and homework assignments based on each child’s ability, so that advanced students are provided more challenges and struggling students are given work that will boost their skills.

But the real advantage of the program is that it makes schoolwork fun and engaging, which means children spend more time on their schoolwork, officials say.

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