03/04/2014 05:33 EST | Updated 05/04/2014 05:59 EDT

Students make the most of smartphones

Most schools tell students to put their electronic gadgets away when it’s time for class. But students at a French immersion school in Whitby, Ont., are instead encouraged to make the most of their smartphones, laptops and tablets.

The Grade 7 students in Zach Turner’s class use their gadgets to log into a special website, where they post answers to his questions. Turner also uses social media to communicate with students and their parents.

"They live and breathe technology," Turner says of his students, "and being able to use that in the classroom is a huge resource a huge tool."

Turner sees his role less as a traditional teacher and more of a "guide or facilitator."

"The teacher is no longer that vessel of knowledge in front of the class — that omnipresent being at the front of the class who knows everything," he said.

Because all the students' responses are posted on the screen, all the students get a chance to participate — even the shy ones.

"I wouldn’t be participating as much," without the technology, student Zehal Azizi​ told CBC News. "It'd be harder to speak in front of the class for me so this makes it easier."