Smartphones now a part of SD73

The days of teachers scolding students who use smartphones in the classroom might be over — at least for kids in School District 73.

Trustee Denise Harper said the district’s special committee for technology policy review is recommending local teachers allow students to make use of IPhones, BlackBerries and Androids for educational purposes.

“We’re finding our students are walking around with powerful computers in their pockets and purses,” she said.

“We’ve reached the conclusion that they have so much potential, they should be used productively.”

It’s now up to individual teachers to form their own policies for smartphone use — some allow them, others don’t.

“They [students] can use them as an educational support, so why wouldn’t we use them?” Harper asked.

“It’s just a shift to reality.

A number of meetings will also be held next month to discuss school-improvement plans.

SD73 superintendent Terry Sullivan said the meetings are held each May with one-third of the schools in the district.

The meetings are held to examine overall ways schools can be improved.

“Each school is required to have a school-planning council,” he said.

“And, each school-planning council has to develop a school-improvement plan.”

That plan is then presented to the board in a meeting and must be approved.

The schools slated to meet with the board for the 2010-2011 school year are Marion Schilling, Valleyview, Dufferin, Savona, Dallas, Parkcrest, Pinantan, Westmount, R.L. Clemitson, Westwold, McGowan Park, Clearwater, Blue River, Raft River, Vavenby, Brennan Creek and Barriere elementaries, and South Kamloops and Barriere secondaries.

By Tim Petruk

Kamloops This Week