Clearwater High teachers want students to use smartphones, tablets in class

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CLEARWATER, FL (WFLA) – With school underway, lots of parents are discovering teachers want students to use smartphones to complete schoolwork in class. It can put a strain on families, because parents are typically the ones paying for the technology. Even if families can afford to send their kids to school with smartphones and tablets, it’s the data charges that can really impact their budget.

At Clearwater High School, even though every students has access to a Kindle, many choose to use their own technology. Although the tablets come in handy when their own devices malfunction, or if they run out of battery power.

To accommodate, the school upgraded its WiFi. One of system’s features is being able to block websites and even smartphone apps. Administrators insist they’ve blocked all social networks.

“I had kids that would have their cell phone, but they’re like, no I want to save that for my social media and texting. I’ll use the Kindles in the classroom for research. So I had kids that literally would choose Kindles over their own technology,” said Kelly Fichtner, social studies teacher.

Teachers are working with students now to show them how to stay connected to WiFi. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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