“Mason Middle School [Erie, Michigan] students won’t be taking out many pens or using much paper next week,” Michelle Swartz reports for Monroe News.

“Instead, they will flip open their laptop computers,” Swartz reports. “As part of a pilot program, all Mason Middle School students will be given their own laptop Apple [iBook G4] computers. The program, 1 to 1 Laptop Initiative, will allow teachers to integrate the curriculum into technology.”

Swartz reports, “‘The teachers can’t stop talking about it. They are very excited,’ said Katie Rofkar, director of curriculum, instruction and assessment. ‘They are teaming together to develop ways of using the technology in the classroom.'”

Schwartz reports, “The district is leasing approximately 350 laptops for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students. The school board approved the lease, $129,967 annually for four years, in July.”

“Teachers will be using Apple iLife software, which includes photocasting, the Web, a DVD creator, music and other tools,” Schwartz reports. “Ryan Throop, a middle school geography teacher, says the possibilities are endless with the new technology. ‘It’s going to completely enhance and change everything we do as teachers,’ he said.”

“Volunteers are building shelves to store the laptops. Students will be assigned shelf space and before leaving school at the end of the day, they will put their computers on the shelves, where they can charge overnight,” Schwartz reports.

Full article here.

[Updated: 4:24pm EDT: Changed "Waterford" to "Erie." Thanks, George A. Custer.]

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