Q: Do you think you have sufficient access to technology and digital devices, such as computers, tablets or smartphones, in your classes? Are there other devices you need for your work in school?

“I do have access to technology. I normally use a computer. I use music to study.”
– Alex Woods
Junior, Pace Academy
“AIS provides plenty of technological resources to the students and faculty. There are smart boards in every classroom, there are three computer labs open to students and available for teachers to use during classes, and the whole campus is equipped with a wireless network and wireless printers so students can also work from their own laptops and tablets. Smartphones are not necessary in class, but they can be used during breaks. The software resources available are also very high quality, such as Adobe CS5 Professional collection and the newest Microsoft Office collection. Also, Moodle is an especially useful tool that each class uses for teacher-to-student communication and transfer of electronic documents or assignments. Overall, AIS does a great job meeting the demand for technology created by the students and faculty.”
Brice Williams
Senior, Atlanta International School
“At Pace, we definitely have a significant amount of access to technological devices. In the Upper School, we have two large computer labs and multiple laptop carts throughout the school — some classes even use iPads to view their textbooks. I carry around my personal laptop to every class and use it in almost all of them. But for those that don’t have a personal laptop, you can always check one out and use it for class. As well as laptops, pretty much every classroom has a large Mac desktop that connects to a smart board and a projector to view presentations or other visual aids. In my AP Psychology class, we frequently use the smart board to watch educational videos and view PowerPoint. Pace definitely has all the essential technological devices needed for a great learning environment.”
Lindsey Zwecker
Pace Academy
“Lovett adopted the one-to-one laptop program several years ago: each student in grades 4 – 10 is issued a laptop (by Lovett) and students in grades 11 and 12 supply their own device. In almost every one of my classes there is a need for laptops, smart boards and Wi-Fi, as we consistently work with online/technological resources to enhance our education.”
– William Smith
Senior, Lovett School
“As a high school student and a member of our robotics team, technology is a major part of my daily life. As such, it is great that Westminster provides such reliable access to all forms of technology for us students. We use smartphones, laptops and smart boards on a daily basis in classrooms to do homework, share documents, and learn lessons in new, creative ways. In addition to all these classroom technologies, as a member of the robotics team, I have access to and training for many different tools and technologies such as mills, lathes and standard hand tools to accomplish our daily work on the team. Westminster’s provided laptops are also a great help for robotics because we have access to different technologies such as CAD (computer-aided design) at our fingertips. With all these provided technologies, I can’t think of anything else that students would need to be provided with to successfully complete our daily schoolwork.”
Emily Chu
The Westminster Schools
“I am surrounded by technology all the time in the classroom. Everywhere I look there are computers and smartphones that can be used to answer whatever question is being asked. In order to complete my schoolwork, the only thing that I would need is an access to the Internet. Everything you could possibly need is at the touch of your fingertips. Some schoolwork requires the need for a word processing application. This can be done on both a computer and even a smartphone.”
Sam Cimowsky, Junior
North Atlanta High School
“I think that we do not have sufficient access to technology in our classrooms. I think we could use several desktops. If we had computers in our classrooms we would get a lot more done and be more productive. On the other hand I think that computers are definitely enough. We don’t need tablets or any other devices because I really think they would just be misused in some cases because they are more for games and apps, and break more easily, so I think computers would be less distracting and better used for an educational purposes.”
Chad Davis, Sophomore
Riverwood International Charter School
“While most of my classes utilize smart boards and teachers have laptops, I feel students do not always have access to technological devices. Students should be able to regularly use tablets, smartphones, or computers to enhance their education. At Marist, if you do not have a class with multiple desktops or have a study hall, the entire day can pass without using technology.”
Catherine Mullins, Senior
Marist School
“Although no technology is absolutely necessary for use in schoolwork, the Weber School allows students to bring in laptops, tablets and smartphones for an added aid. For students who do not own things like that, like myself, Weber has personal computers that can be checked in and out. We also have two computer labs and computers in the media center that are always available. I think Weber does a great job making technology available for those of us who can’t bring in our own devices.”
Jenna Kahn, Sophomore
The Weber School
“Technological devices used during class depend on the individual. Many students use computers or tablets that they bring to class for themselves, but at the same time many students prefer paper and pen. Access to a computer for use outside of school is necessary for many/most school assignments, but no other devices have been needed in my experience. Occasionally, students are assigned movies to watch, which can often be found online as well. Overall, access to technological devices other than computers is at a student’s discretion, but access to computers has become necessary. Computer access is available through the school during school hours should one need it.”
Estella Dieci, Junior
The Atlanta International School
“At Riverwood ICS there is plenty of access to computers through the media center and the subject-specific computer labs. There, students are able to utilize desktop computers that have access to Galileo and many other research tools. Our teachers are able to reserve these spaces ahead of time for use during class. Otherwise, they are only available during lunch and/or before and after school. Riverwood also recently changed their cellphone policy so that students are able to use smartphones during class with a teacher’s permission for educational purposes. However, there is no use of tablets in the school to my knowledge at this time.”
Danielle Gately, Senior
Riverwood International Charter School
“I think we have plenty of access to technology at Galloway, from laptop carts to permanent computer labs, from iPads to Promethean boards in every classroom. We’ve now started the process of embracing that technology—sophomores build Facebook pages to learn about Julius Caesar, statistics students create infographics about various global phenomena, and students redesigned our Head of School’s office with the help of some iPad apps—but we still have a ways to go.”
Max Levy, Senior, The Galloway School
“Holy Innocents’ has done an excellent job providing technological devices for use in the classroom. Though a computer is all we really need at HI to complete schoolwork, access to smart boards, iPads and other technological resources has allowed us to extend our learning capabilities far beyond the average school. Because of the exposure to technology I have had at HI, I feel more than prepared to tackle schoolwork in any college setting. Like any piece of technology, smart boards in our classrooms sometimes give us problems. On the occasions we’ve had problems with them, the IT department at HIES has always been quick to offer a solution and get us back working.”
Robert Moore, Senior
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
“Mount Vernon Presbyterian School highly encourages technology in the classroom. Although our teachers typically do not allow smartphones in class, they do want us to use our computers and tablets so that we can access online resources and create personalized notes and projects. I feel as if Mount Vernon incorporates technology into the curriculum as frequently and consistently as possible, and I cannot imagine a more efficient way to introduce technology in a school environment.”
Morgan McConnell, Junior
Mount Vernon Presbyterian School
“I feel confident in saying that I have adequate access to technology at Holy Spirit Prep. Each classroom has a projector so instructors utilize PowerPoint instead of just board notes, and I am highly encouraged to use my computer in class to take notes. For math homework, we use an online program called MyMathLab (or MathXL, depending on the course) which often provides examples and help if stuck on a problem. “
Alex Munoz, Senior
Holy Spirit Preparatory School
North Springs has done a great job providing technology for use in the classroom. Students still cannot bring their own electronics to school, but the school is in the process of setting up a BYED (Bring Your Educational Device) program so students can start possibly bringing more electronics to supplement their education as needed. I have loved the active-boards installed in most classrooms, and more than anything I think these have had the greatest impact on my four years in high school. North Springs also provides laptop carts for teachers to use for in-class research and iPod Touch carts as well.
Tarrek Shaban, Senior
North Springs Charter High School
“At Holy Innocents’ we have access to all of the technology that we have in today’s generation. We all get laptops, and we also have access to iPads. Teachers are even discovering educational apps on our phones. My laptop is my primary technological device because it is accessible at all times during the school day, and fits the needs of my schoolwork. My phone is also another device I use to take quick videos of labs, record, and take pictures for various assignments.”
Mary Wade Ballou, Senior
Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School
“At North Atlanta we do have access to the technology, but expanding it would only make things better. We have five desktop computers in each classroom as well as access to a computer lab. Teachers have the ability to check out Mac carts, or enough laptops that every student in the class can use one for that period. We are not allowed to use phones although that would be very helpful. Some teachers allow students to bring their own technology from home and use that during class. I think we have sufficient access and do not necessarily need anything; however if teachers had enough laptops for every student each day the nature of our assignments could change.”
Lucy Saltmarsh, Junior
North Atlanta High School
“We definitely have a lot of access to technology in our classes at Marist because the administration makes sure that teachers are adapting their styles to the future of the classroom and the needs of each incoming generation technologically. In many of my classes, we’ve used the school’s tablets for chat discussions, online articles, or essay writing, and personally I also use my home computer or Marist’s computer lab daily for schoolwork, for laying out the newspaper, etc. There will be a lot more technology use next year, too, as we introduce a new tablet program for each student, in addition to the pre-existing smart boards in the classrooms. We already have the option of using our own devices in class, but I’ve never taken advantage of that.”
Christopher Bowman, Junior
Marist School
“Yes, however the newer mobile technology (smartphones, tablets, etc.) is usually owned by students and is simply allowed to be out when the teacher allows it, which means those who do not have personal access to such technology do not have access in the classroom. I like some applications of the smart board, especially for science and math classes. Also, I would like to see more use of the Internet or smartphone apps. Class websites are really useful as a resource in assigning homework and posting helpful links.”
Jake Greenberg, Senior
Riverwood International
Charter High School

Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.