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Monday, February 16, 2009

Netbooks, Cell Phones, and Stimulus for the Classroom

Quick classroom tech notes:

Elkton Netbook Update: On today's Dakota Digest, South Dakota Public Broadcasting's Cory Klumper reports on Elkton's classroom netbook project. As reported here previously, if Elkton HS tech director (and DSU grad) Gabe Pooler's idea works, this tiny rural school may be able to equip its students with computers for 30% of the cost of the state's Classroom Connections program. Klumper stops by Madison HS to chat with Rob Honomichl about Tablet PCs as well.

No Place Safe from Cell Phones: If you think laptops are just a distraction in the classroom, this should really set your teeth on edge: cell phone makers are now pushing schools to use phones in the classroom. Just like with the personal planners and other products and logos foisted on the captive K-12 audience, cell phone manufacturers know that branding the kids early will boost future sales. Consume, citizen!

I Thought Compromise Meant Meeting in the Middle: Whatever doodads schools think they need, they won't get to pay for as much of it with the stimulus money as hoped. Both the House and Senate versions of the plan included $1 billion for education technology, but somehow that number got knocked down to $650 million in conference. The conferees did jack up the rural broadband funding, though: the House proposed $6B, the Senate $7B; final figure, $7.2B Now that's compromise!

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