Elementary school bridging classroom technology gap

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When Melisa McCain’s fourth-grade students have a question she can’t immediately answer, a race begins between the teacher and her students’ iPod Touches.

If McCain is standing at the head of her classroom at Needham Elementary School, she has to walk to her computer at the other end of the room — and she doesn’t always win the race. Sometimes by the time McCain gets to her computer, several students already have logged online and answered whatever question was asked.

Franklin schools launched a program in the spring allowing students in all grades to bring their own devices to use at school, partly because the school district can’t afford to purchase tablets or laptops for all students the way Center Grove and Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson schools have. But school officials weren’t sure how well the new policy would work with elementary school students, who typically benefit from more direct instruction from their teachers.

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