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Cool for School: Tablets vs Textbooks

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Posted at 10:04 PM, Jan 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-18 16:47:42-05

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - Pop quiz....what is missing from this classroom? if you said books, you get an 'A'! Textbooks have been traded for tablets.

Using Microsoft Office 365, students are able to share their work with their teacher and fellow students. They are able to edit each others' work and give feedback, in real time. Plus, the students can do work for their other classes.

"Technology is something that students are going to be using throughout their lives," explains Natalee Harrison, 8th grade language arts teacher at Raa Middle School in Tallahassee. "It's not like when I was growing up, when you got home and had to use dial up internet, and the phone was off, it's something that's in their back pocket so having that in the classroom and teaching them the positive uses of technology is something very beneficial."

And students say it's the way of the future.

"I think it helps us get use to using more technology, as technology is advancing and that sort of thing," says eighth grader Bryson Gonzalez. "Getting away from paper, but a combo is the best."

The tablets stay in the classroom, but students have access to all of their work and notes on their home computer using Microsoft Office 365.

"The biggest thing we've done is a research paper for a history fair that we've been working on in here too," said fellow eighth grader Sasha Berry, "so we'll work on it here and we can go home and work on it too."

It's not without its challenges though...plus the temptations to surf the web.

According to eighth grader Bryanna Google, "They know that we could cheat, like if you're on a website we could click another tab and look up the answers, so it's kind of easier, but I feel like they trust us to stay on focus, plus they walk around to make sure."

But overall it seems to be a positive addition to the classroom, and school.

"We also had a "tech Tuesday", where teachers could meet with each other, talk about things they were experiencing, talk about what students were experiencing," explains Raa Principal Giselle Marsh, "and then I was able to share that information with the district. So as other schools take on tablets, they'll be going in with some information prior to having them arrive on their campuses."