Classroom laptops increase grades - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Classroom laptops increase grades

Test scores are rising at Empire High School in Arizona's Vail School District.

District officials say it's all thanks to staff and students' laptop technology.

"I've never been the most organized person. And, the way the computer is set up through folders and such, it really helps a lot," said junior Caleb Sweaney.

In 2005 Empire High School became the first school in the country to eliminate textbooks and go all digital.

Now students read, write and research on laptops that the school provides them.

Miranda Keegan is a junior at Empire.

"When I was at Cienega High School for my freshman year, I was failing almost every single one of my classes. And now I have a B, shockingly, in chemistry," Keegan said.

Even straight-A student Elizabeth Toller, a sophomore, said her practice AIMS test scores are up.

"I've noticed in my scores I got 99 percent across the board. And earlier I hadn't gotten that at all. I'd get 80s."

Vail School District Superintendent Calvin Baker said  that since Empire students got computers, their AIMS test scores have been much higher than other students across the state.

"The scores have gone up and the gap between the scores here and the average scores across the state have increased.  "What this proves to us is the laptops are a very viable tool. They are a tool that does work. When we started two years ago we didn't know that for sure. It was an experiment," Baker said. 

Now schools from across the country and the world come to see what Empire's doing.

Baker says when his Vail School District gets funding he would like to computerize all of its high schools.

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