GUILFORD COUNTY-- Guilford County teachers and staff practiced with a new classroom tool Tuesday afternoon.
Dozens of middle school staff began training with the new amplify tablet computers at Hairston Middle School in Greensboro. Thousands of students in the district will begin using them in the fall, thanks to the Race to the Top grant.
"When I first started teaching, power point was probably the biggest form of technology," said India Smith, a teacher at Hairston Middle school, who has been leading the classroom for nine years.
Students at 18 middle schools will get their hands on the technology in August. Over the next two years, every middle schooler will have one.
"I think it won't be too overwhelming for them, especially since they're what we like to call 'digital natives,' meaning they've spent a lot of their lifetime working with technology," said Smith.
The tablets will be set up for each individual, with all of their lessons and assignments, along with research tools and secure internet access.
"It'll level out the playing field," said Connie Stone, an 8th grade science teacher at the school. She said, "the whole world is at their finger tip. I mean we can go anywhere, we can do virtual tours, we can do so much with these."
The first year of use will cost the district more than $3 million dollars.