School sees spike in test scores after allowing cell phones in c - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

School sees spike in test scores after allowing cell phones in classrooms

ESSEX, MO (KFVS) -

In a world of smartphones, laptops and iPads, officials in the Richland School District are finding a way to embrace technology to teach students.

"We started using cell phones a couple year ago and it's has definitely cut down on discipline issues," English teacher Lisa Taylor said.

Taylor said she was nervous when the school decided to allow students to use their cell phones.

"When we did switch to that, I said, 'Um, I don't know. Are they going to abuse it? Are they going to do something they're not suppose to do?'" she said. "That has not been the case at all."

Students at Richland are given laptops and can listen to music while doing their work.

When the students switch classes, they are also allowed to use their cellphones to make calls and return text messages.

Since officials made the change, Richland's recent test scores are some of the highest in southeast Missouri.

"It's a huge privilege to actually be on our devices and use them," junior Preston Tilley said.

Tilley said teachers allowing them to play music while they complete their work really helps.

"For me and much other students, I can focus a lot better being able to listen to music and without disrupting the class and asking the teacher," he said.

Freshman Kate Wyman agreed and said teachers and students being transparent has really helped make for a better learning environment.

"I think it helps us have better trust and more respect for each other," Wyman said. "They know that you're doing your work and they trust you to do your room, and you trust them to give you space."

Taylor said as long as the students continue to perform, they will continue to be more progressive when it comes to learning.

"It's apart of why we have been so successful. I'm not saying it's 100% obviously those kiddos are comfortable," Taylor said. "They perform for us because we do give them those freedoms."

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