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NC Educators Enhance Education with Technology

Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools were featured recently because of their program that provides iPads and laptops to all 16,000 students in the district.
Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools were featured recently because of their program that provides iPads and laptops to all 16,000 students in the district.
February 28, 2014

ROCKY MOUNT, N.C. - Educators from North Carolina and the rest of the nation gathered this week at the Future@Now Conference in Silver Spring, Md., to discuss ways to incorporate more technology in their classrooms. Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools were featured at the event because of their program that provides iPads and laptops to all 16,000 students in the district.

"Our students have become far more self-directed than before," said Anthony Jackson, superintendent of the Nash-Rocky Mount school system. "They own their learning, and I've heard from parents that students are using the tools to enhance their learning and to extend their learning times at home."

The Future@Now effort is sponsored by Discovery Education Network, a private company, with a goal of offering technology-based education tools for schools. Salisbury, Greene County, Edgecombe County and others in North Carolina are using similar programs in their schools.

While schools in places such as Rocky Mount have one computer or digital device for every student, that's not the case for most schools. According to a National Center for Education Statistics study, nationwide there are five students in every school for every one computer.

Jackson said his school system used some creative methods to find funding.

"We were able to do our entire project without increasing our budget," he said, "but we had to ensure we re-prioritized our resources to make this happen."

The Discovery Education Network offers programming and live-streaming opportunities for students and teachers.

The full study on technology in classrooms is online at nces.ed.gov.

Stephanie Carroll Carson, Public News Service - NC