Connecting dots for digital learning and teaching

Moving forward to Digital Classrooms

These are some reports updating all about the digital textbook program and one-to-one initiatives in classrooms lately.

NC state edtech research on laptop initiatives in 6 states (Published on March 15, 2011) is a summary of research on Laptop initiatives across six states, including Florida’s Leveraging Laptops, Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI), North Carolina’s 1:1 Learning Technology Initiative (NCLTI), Michigan’s Freedom to Learn (FTL), Pennsylvania’s Classrooms for the Future (CFF), Texas’s Immersion Pilot (TIP), and Henrico County, Virginia’s Teaching and Learning Initiative.

digital classroom, digital learning 

Textbook-free schools share experiences, insights (published on September 7th, 2011; By Jenna Zwang, eSchoolNews  )

  • “One of the things we noted in hearing back from teachers is that with these devices in their hands, students were able to engage [in] independent learning and were able to get instant feedback based on their own performance,” … “and it freed up the teachers to circulate in the classroom.”
  • “These devices provide new opportunities for both students and teachers, and so we need to do a good job in terms ofmaking sure that teachers have the support they need so they’re not just using [the iPads] as a textbook replacement
  • “Vail School District in Tucson, Ariz., was one of the first in the nation to trade textbooks in for laptops seven years ago.The district used its textbook money to buy the laptops, forcing the teachers to instruct differently because they didn’t have textbooks.” … “Baker plans on transitioning some schools to a mixed-delivery system that will include some school-owned devices for students who need them, but also a “bring your own technology” model in which many devices are supplied by students and parents.” … “He encourages schools looking to implement one-to-one computing programs to examine equipment for educators as well as students.” … “could include video projectors and other technology.”

Many US Schools Adding iPads, Trimming Textbooks (published on September 3, 2011; By STEPHANIE REITZ, abcNews(AP))

  • Apple officials say they know of more than 600 districts that have launched what are called “one-to-one” programs, in which at least one classroom of students is getting iPads for each student to use throughout the school day. Nearly two-thirds of them have begun since July, according to Apple.
  • The trend has not been limited to wealthy suburban districts. New York City, Chicago and many other urban districts also are buying large numbers of iPads.
  • The iPads generally cost districts between $500 and $600, depending on what accessories and service plans are purchased. By comparison, Brookfield High in Connecticut estimates it spends at least that much yearly on every student’s textbooks, not including graphing calculators, dictionaries and other accessories they can get on the iPads.
  • They’re especially popular in special education services, for children with autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities, and for those who learn best when something is explained with visual images, not just through talking.
  • The districts need to ensure they can support the wireless infrastructurerepairs and other costs that accompany a switch to such a tech-heavy approach.

About the digital content, there is a white paper by Intel : Digital Content in the K-12 Classroom (more resources of one-to-one computing at

Digital learning environments are the key to addressing what one might call the “three C’s” of learning; 21stcentury schools are charged with teaching students to:

• Consume (read and interpret text and imagery)

• Collaborate (share what they’ve learned and work with others to extend their knowledge)

• Create (demonstrate understanding by synthesizing and using higher-order thinking and creativity skills to build new content)

Our nation’s financial crisis has forced a number of states to reconsider the role of textbooks in the classroom. Many states offer schools the flexibility to spend previously earmarked funds on things other than textbooks, a number of states have actively moved to encourage the development of digital alternatives. In California, for example, Governor Schwarzenegger launched the Free Digital Textbook Initiative to “give school districts high-quality, cost-effective options to consider when choosing textbooks for the classroom”.

In Texas, state textbook funds may be used to purchase technological equipment necessary to support the use of electronic textbooks or instructional material. Georgia has similar legislation, too.

At the same time, digital content offers states and districts the potential for genuine savings by cutting back on an expensive line item and replacing it with a better and less costly alternative. No longer will schools need to rely on an “all or nothing” adoption approach that forces them to select — and stay wedded for years to — a single text from a single provider. Instead, they will have the opportunity to pick and choose “best of breed” solutions from a variety of sources and pay incrementally for updates as they are needed.

Different kinds of digital content or tools with examples are listed in this report, and several case studies on forward-thinking districts that have incorporated rich digital content into their vision for teaching and learning are given. We can see a pedagogy shift in this revolution. And of course districts should make the best use of open educational resources (OER) !

SmartClassrooms is an educational technology portal provided by Queensland government (Department of Education and Training) and loaded with all the information about integrating technologies in classrooms. This edition of “Smart Classrooms Bytes” : 21 steps to 21st Century 1-to-1 success,  provides a summary of resources available to teachers and administrators who have commenced or are considering implementing 1-to-1 student laptop programs.

For reference, you might find the other post helpful, too. : It’s a digital world, why not digital textbook ?

Old comments from our old site are copied/pasted as below:


iPads replacing textbooks at CCCHS lot of technology upgrades are needed !

Posted @ Saturday, September 10, 2011 12:36 PM by Jennifer Duffee
Several states have taken steps to make adopting digital content easier for schools. Not all have been entirely successful yet, but their early mistakes can be guideposts for others considering the same thing. Good summaries from The Journal :Driving Digital Change

Making the Big Shift

Posted @ Sunday, October 09, 2011 9:55 AM by Jessie C.

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“Tell me and I will forget, show me and I may remember, involve me and I will understand.” -------- Chinese Wisdom "Games are the most elevated form of investigation." -------- Albert Einstein
"I'm calling for investments in educational technology that will help create digital tutors that are as effective as personal tutors, educational software as compelling as the best video game," President Barack Obama said while touring a tech-focused Boston school (year 2011).
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