'Bring Your Own Technology' now in Columbia County Schools

Technology is playing a big role in Columbia County Schools this year.

Students are now allowed to bring gadgets, like laptops and Ipads, to take notes and connect to the internet. It's part of a program called, 'Bring Your Own Technology.'

But some parents concerned instruction time could turn into play time with too many gadgets.

Amy Ryan, parent and instructor at Augusta Tech, said, "I just think kids constantly feel the need to be entertained and instead of focusing on the teacher, they'll be distracted."

Columbia County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sandra Carraway said the technology is used as a tool, like a calculator, not a play toy.

"Some of the parents are concerned. They think students spend enough time using technology already and this is just a way of causing them to use it more. But it's not full time for us."

Dr. Carraway says a letter went home to parents last year, to sign off on the decision. And many had a positive response.

Students are excited, too.

Dr. Carraway said, "One student said specifically, I have all my notes right here and not in four or five different notebooks."

Parents like Ryan also voiced concerns for kids who can't afford things like Ipads and laptops. Columbia County Schools say the technology right now is often used in groups and none of their instruction requires equipment.