Published: May 06, 2013 12:55 PM EDT
Updated: May 06, 2013 4:51 PM EDT

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla.- The days of teachers telling students to put their cell phones away in class...are over in Collier County.

The school district is implementing the "bring your own device" program in classrooms. Educators think it will get students more involved in learning.

Lely High School is one of the first schools to see a change in the rules. Cell phones have been known for a long time as a distraction in schools, but for the first time, the Collier County School District is embracing the distraction and will allow students to use their phones and other Internet devices for learning

The "bring your own device" initiative allows students to use any device that can use wireless Internet. That means iPads, laptops, even e-readers.

The program officially begins in August with the new school year, and it will start in phases. Right now, parents with kids in 11 Collier schools will be receiving a letter and an enforcement policy for them to sign off on. During this month, teachers in those 11 schools will receive training and will discuss how to use the program in their curriculum.

But just how distracting could this program be for students who would rather send their friends text messages or surf the Internet?

The devices will use the school district's wifi, which will prevent students from accessing certain websites, like Facebook.

Eleven schools participating in the first phase of the BYOD roll-out will begin to inform parents of the BYOD initiative today (May 6th).  Parents with students in one of these Phase I schools will participate in Parent Information Meetings throughout the month of May and will be asked to accept the Responsible Use Policy to authorize their student(s) to participate in BYOD.  Implementation of BYOD at Phase I schools – meaning that students are allowed to use their devices at school – will not actually begin until the start of the 2013-2014 school year in August. 

Phase I schools include Barron Collier High, Everglades City School, Golden Gate High, Golden Terrace Elementary, Gulf Coast High, Immokalee Middle, Lely High, Lorenzo Walker Technical High, Manatee Middle, Pelican Marsh Elementary, and Sea Gate Elementary.  The remainder of CCPS schools will implement BYOD in either Phase II in January 2014 or Phase III in August 2014.