According to this AP story, Maine is in the process of expanding its laptop program, which aims to provide a computer for every 7th-12th grader in the state. School officials are now in negotiations with Apple to provide 100,000 Apple MacBooks, says the article. This is somewhat surprising news considering the divided opinions about the efficacy of 1-to-1 laptop programs, as well as obvious financial challenges because of the economy. But Governor John Baldacci has reassured tax payers that it is being done with existing resources and will not require additional taxpayer money. Looking back through Education Week's coverage ...


There are a lot of teachers out there who are successfully using technology to bring the curriculum to life for their students. Yesterday, Google recognized eight teachers for their creativity in using the 3D Google Earth application to create lessons about ancient Rome. Google Earth takes users on a geographic and historic tour of the globe with maps and satellite images of land and sea. The winning teachers have taken their standards-based lessons and adapted them to interactive models of ancient and modern-day Rome. Here's a sample on YouTube: At Acalanes Union High School District, for example, 6th and 7th ...


One thing I often here from educators about using the Web to find useful resources and tools is that weeding through all that's on the Internet is overwhelming and time-consuming. Digital Directions, Ed Week's magazine and Web site devoted to covering educational technology, has been working to find the kinds of Web sites that could help teachers and principals work more effectively. My colleague, Tim Ebner, a freelance writer, is doing the searching and providing an overview of those sites that offer content or services for educators. Find his summaries at the Go-to-Sites feature. He'll be updating his list regularly, ...


Here's an article, written by my colleague Debra Viadero, about whether or not reading and math software programs lead to learning gains. The study didn't find many differences between the control groups, who did not use the software programs, and the ones that did, but critics of the study say that the experimental research methods used for the study were flawed. It does seem to be one of those studies that anyone can look at and see what they want. "If you already have the hardware in the classroom and you want one of these products, this would not dissuade ...


It's only Friday, so there's still time to read an electronic text to commemorate "Read an e-Book Week," which runs through tomorrow. Some experts predict there will be huge growth in this area; not exactly a prophetic statement given the proliferation of mobile devices that can accommodate e-books and the growing popularity of e-reader gadgets. There are a lot of proponents, and commercial providers, who would like to see e-textbooks gain ground in districts across the country. Some, like Sony, have donated millions of e-books to schools in the hopes that the trend will catch on. And now the Internet ...


At Edweek.org, my colleague Michele McNeil has a piece with the details on the $250 million in stimulus cash for education data systems. The topic was featured in President Obama's March 10 education address, Michele reports. “Far too few states have data systems like the one in Florida that keep track of a student’s education from childhood through college. And far too few districts are emulating the example of Houston and Long Beach, and using data to track how much progress a student is making and where that student is struggling,” Mr. Obama said in his speech to ...


I wasn't able to make it to the CoSN conference in Austin this week, but Andrew Trotter, a blogger and former Ed Week reporter was there. He's been posting his observations on his new blog. He has this report from yesterday: There's been "near-constant discussion at CoSN about Twitter, Facebook, blogging, podcasting, Wikipedia, open content, curriculum wikis, online video games, and smartphones–and how those Web 2.0 tools fit together with the traditional school staples of assessment, curriculum, student privacy, and safety, budgets, and so on," Andrew writes. "The international symposium on March 10, here in Austin, made clear ...


Hat tip to Remote Access for turning me on to a new publication put out by MIT press called the International Journal of Learning and Media


As we ask ourselves questions about social networking, mobile technologies, online learning, and other emerging technological concerns, it's important to remember that not all school districts in this country are all that far along technologically. In fact, many schools, as well as businesses and homes, are still struggling to secure stable, high-speed broadband connections, as this report, released by the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, reminds us. The report calls for a renewed focus on getting all Americans hooked up to high-speed broadband Internet. The number of Americans connected to broadband has increased dramatically since the beginning of the decade, ...


Sean Cavanagh, my colleague over the Curriculum Matters blog, has this report from the National Assessment Governing Board meeting: There's a lot of debate these days about how to define "technology literacy," but in a couple years, the National Assessment of Educational Progress will take the unusual step of testing students in those skills. This week, the panel that oversees the National Assessment of Educational Progress heard an early report on how it is attempting to forge a working definition, in preparation for judging students' tech literacy in 2012. The National Assessment Governing Board, which sets policy for the NAEP, ...


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