Students at a high school in Calgary are being asked to add laptops to their list of essential back to school supplies.
Springbank Community High School's new policy of strongly encouraging students to bring computers will better prepare them for the future, according to principal Leslie Ann Collings.
"To be able to take something and really understand if it's fact or fiction — those are the kind of things I think that the child of the 21st century is going to have to learn," she said.
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But young people — already surrounded with technology — do not need the extra burden of carrying around a portable computer, said Kelly Wood, a mother of two students at the school, which is located in a wealthy suburb on the northwest edge of Calgary.
"You know, they've got computers at school, they've got computers at home, they've got iPods and they play computer games. I don't really see the need for them to have a laptop at school all day," she said.
According to Collings, laptops make learning more interactive and effective.
''I don't really see the need for them to have a laptop at school all day.'' —Kelly Wood, parent
"If you're truly engaged or interested, you will remember it probably better and more deeply than if you just learned the facts, read the book, answered the questions on a sheet of paper," she said.
Instructors at the school will teach students which websites are credible as tools for research and fact checking, Collings added.
Students will not have access to sites like Facebook or personal email accounts in the classroom.
The school will lend computers to students who do not have laptops when classes start on Aug. 31.