“Sixty educators from across the nation roamed the halls and ringed the rooms of East Mooresville Intermediate School, searching for the secret formula,” Alan Schwarz reports for The New York Times. “They found it in Erin Holsinger’s fifth-grade math class.”
“There, a boy peering into his school-issued MacBook blitzed through fractions by himself, determined to reach sixth-grade work by winter,” Schwarz reports. “Three desks away, a girl was struggling with basic multiplication — only 29 percent right, her screen said — and Ms. Holsinger knelt beside her to assist. Curiosity was fed and embarrassment avoided, as teacher connected with student through emotion far more than Wi-Fi.”
Schwarz reports, “As debate continues over whether schools invest wisely in technology — and whether it measurably improves student achievement — Mooresville, a modest community about 20 miles north of Charlotte best known as home to several Nascar teams and drivers, has quietly emerged as the de facto national model of the digital school… Overwhelmed by requests to view the programs in action, the district now herds visitors into groups of 60 for monthly demonstrations; the waiting list stretches to April. What they are looking for is an explanation for the steady gains Mooresville has made since issuing laptops three years ago to the 4,400 4th through 12th graders in five schools (three K-3 schools are not part of the program).”
“Each student’s MacBook Air is leased from Apple for $215 a year, including warranty, for a total of $1 million; an additional $100,000 a year goes for software,” Schwarz reports. “Terry Haas, the district’s chief financial officer, said the money was freed up through ‘incredibly tough decisions.'”
Read more in the full article here.
[Attribution: Fortune. Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]