Kingsport schools will encourage wireless use

KINGSPORT, Tenn. (AP) -- In Kingsport, school administrators once banned the use of smart phones, tablets and laptops. Now they are embracing it.

Wireless Internet should be available at all of the city's schools by the end of January. A Bring Your Own Device program will see a soft start in the spring, ramping up to a full launch in August.

Schools Director of Technology John Payne told the Kingsport Times-News that students can use the devices for research. He said students will be allowed to share their devices with others who don't have them. Officials also hope to offer some loaner devices.

Board of Education member Betsy Cooper said the focus of the program is to "just get as much technology in the children's hands as you can."

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