Dr. Steve Atwater, Superintendent of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, said cell phones have become almost unavoidable in local classrooms. Instead of fighting against the inevitable, he said the district is looking at ways to harness digital technology.
Dr. Atwater: “What’s hard is that the students are then distracted to do social texting, which is not what we want. But we’re trying to figure out how best we can do that. There’s also a teacher can communicate with students by text, and that’s going on right now, too, in terms of teachers sending out information about an assignment comes out as a text, cause that’s how kids get their information. They don’t do email very much at all any more. It’s all through text, so we need to adjust that way.”
While there are benefits to digital communication, Dr. Atwater said they’re also keenly aware of inappropriate behaviors, like viewing and sending explicit images.
Dr. Atwater: “Yeah, we have a program for our students that’s called isafe, and that’s a program that’s designed to help students make wise choices when they’re online, as well as with digital communication and it’s just helping the students recognize that certain websites may lead you to other websites that are really poor, and also help them not give away information that could disclose personal information.”