Updated: 09/11/2013 6:48 PM
Created: 09/11/2013 6:32 PM KSTP.com
By: Katherine Johnson
If you can't beat 'em, join 'em. At least, that's the mentality school districts across the state are using as curriculum shifts from the textbook to the Macbook.
For Elk River, that means changing the policy to put all kids on an even playing field when competing with other schools. "I think I might be addicted to Facebook," said senior Alyssa White.
She says despite the no phone policy at Elk River High School, she can't stay off of the site.
"It gets pretty gruesome," she said. "Kids are pretty mean. Calling people names for what they're wearing and how they act in school and stuff. Nobody ever says anything to each other's face."
Even though it's not the friendliest form of communication, social networks are still the most popular choice for kids in schools.
"I sent my first letter this year," said White. "I've never sent a letter before. My mom had to teach me how to do it - I've never done it before!"
Many schools throughout the state are rolling out individual computers for their students.
"We don't have the funding to pull that off," said Elk River District Technology Manager Joseph Samek. "The reality is that there's a lot of students and we don't have a lot of devices."
So the district is changing it's policy from banning devices to now inviting students to bring their own computers or tablets to school for specific class work.
It may free up some tablets but it also opens the district up to the inability to monitor the activity. Although the website Facebook may be blocked on the school network, on smartphones, it can't be easily policed.