Evergreen students use new technology to aid learning


EVERGREEN, Mont. - Students in Evergreen are the first in their school to incorporate technical devices in a classroom.

Chalkboards and books are being used less, now that students can bring smart devices to school. Teachers are pleased with the transition.

"I think that their engagement level is definitely higher. And I also think that they feel that we care about something new. It's fresh and we are trying to make them better students all around," said Evergreen Junior High teacher Vic Dalla Betta.

Students say using these devices in science, geography and math helps them learn.

"I like that we don't have to read a book, we can actually touch the features," said Arianna Rogers.

"Our generation was basically born into technology like this, and we basically use this every day out of school, and it's good to have it in school," said James Glormino.

The Evergreen superintendent used a program called "Bring Your Own Device" or BYOD in Georgia. She liked it so much she convinced the school district to start BYOD in the Flathead.

"Teachers aren't here just to impart knowledge, teachers are here to facilitate learning, and if we let kids bring the devices they're already accustomed to and they already know how to use, it's maximizing resources for us," said Laurie Barron.

Teachers have noticed that students are more engaged in their school work since starting the BYOD program in October.

"We have kids now going home and continuing something they learned at school on their device at home, when they weren't even assigned to do it," said Barron.

What if students don't have a smart phone or tablet? No problem. The school will loan out devices or have students work together.

Students aren't the only ones learning.

"Some of them are much more skilled with technology than I am, so it's been really good for me. So then they'll show me something and I can show others how to do the same thing, so it's been fun on both ends," said Dalla Betta.

Students say they are enjoying the classroom more with BYOD.

"You're touching the features on the screen; you're like zooming in on mountains. It's actually very cool," said Rogers.

If anyone has an old device that they are looking to get rid of, Evergreen Junior High is accepting any donated smart devices.