Knoxville school embraces tech in the classroom

The Knoxville Episcopal School is embracing technology, inviting students to bring their own devices into the classroom.

This product rendering released by Microsoft shows Surface, a 9.3 millimeter thick tablet with a kickstand to hold it upright and keyboard that is part of the device's cover. (AP Photo/Microsoft)

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - The Knoxville Episcopal School is embracing technology, inviting students to bring their own devices into the classroom.

The FLEx 1:1 program, short for Free-Platform Learning Exchange, allows middle school students to bring their own tablets and laptops into the classroom. Smartphones are the only devices left in their bags.

"I have my own kids. A light bulb just went off one day when I was watching them set up a Wii and an X-Box at the same time. They know how to use these devices if we let them know the ones native to them," said the school's technology director Julie King.

Instead of using school provided devices teachers must teach, class time can be fully focused on the lesson of the day.

"Kids are the bosses of their own machines. There's rarely any need for trouble shooting," said King.

Teachers have used various apps like digital flashcards to enhance the classroom, but often it's students own suggestions that teachers are happiest with.

"The kids are even suggesting apps and that makes it fun, and when they're having fun, they're learning more," said King.

Students spend time researching and creating presentations and their own project on their devices. They edit video and photos and create music in addition to standard office programs.

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