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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Trial and Error in the K-12 Classroom

A number of K-12 schools are experimenting with the use of laptops, netbooks, and tablets as standard classroom tools, even to the point of replacing print books with the hardware. But, some schools are finding it’s a mixed bag, as this article from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel shows. Students love the “cool” factor but it is not clear if computers are actually helping them learn better, and schools don’t necessarily save money on course materials.

And the article inadvertently highlights why the publishing industry is skittish about e-books: One youngster who lost his paperback “finds” the novel online and therefore is able to keep up with the class. Problem is, The Lord of the Flies isn’t yet in the public domain (and will not be for nearly 40 more years), so the boy is apparently accessing an illegally pirated copy.

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