Phones replace books at Ballard High School's all-tech chemistry - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Phones replace books at Ballard High School's all-tech chemistry class

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- How does this sound: a high school chemistry class where all students need is their cell phone?

Ballard High School chemistry teacher Joshua Marsh wanted to try something new this year and he turned to technology.

"No paper, everything is done online," he said. "They keep their lab notes online, their assignments online -- it's been really beneficial because it helps keep them organized. And you don't have to worry about kids leaving their lab notebooks at home."

Students still do lab experiments, but all the directions are on their computers.

Marsh said his students use Google Docs, which saves all their notes automatically and even allows them to watch their teacher grade their papers in real time. Another bonus? Student notes are organized from the beginning of the year until the end. 

"I don't like science stuff, but using computers and stuff makes it more interesting because you're learning something new on top of just chemistry stuff," said Chyna Spencer, a sophomore at the school. "You're learning a new way to use technology."

Phillip Spencer, 16, said students like being able to watch videos about the experiments they are about to conduct. 

"Chemistry can be really difficult, but I think that the way he teaches, it makes it easier," Phillip said. "There's a lot of group work, too. We team up and work together to problem solve."

Marsh said kids were caught off guard on the first day of school when all they were asked to bring was their cell phone.

"I want my kids to be prepared for college, so that they have the skills they need to be successful," Marsh said. "We are really moving towards a paper-free world -- a lot of college professors don't even accept papers anymore, they have students submit all their work online."

Those students who don't have a cell phone have access to tablets and computers in his classroom, Marsh said.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter. 

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