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Uruguay's Schools Give Each Kid a Laptop, While America Twiddles Its Thumbs

One-to-one laptop programs in America are still novelties. In Uruguay, all elementary students have had a laptop since 2009.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPfKTdUfrVI&feature=player_detailpage

We spend a lot of time here in America debating the merit of providing a laptop to every student. Maine is still the only state to have a one-to-one laptop program for middle and high school students. In contrast, many of our global peers see the writing on the wall and know that computer literacy and learning with technology can't be optional in the 21st century. In particular, Uruguay's been rolling out one-to-one laptops at schools since 2009 through their Plan Ceibal program. Now that almost all students have access to computers, the South American nation is thinking about how to take the use of them to the next level.

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iNsane? Auburn, Maine, Is Giving an iPad2 to Every Kindergarten Student

Next school year, every five-year-old in Maine will learn via iPad. Is it too much tech too soon?

\n\n\n\n\n Maine (who would have guessed?) continues to lead the way in education technology. Not only is the state an international leader in tech literacy due to their one-to-one laptop program for middle and high school students, now one small town plans to give an iPad 2 to every kindergarten student.

The school board in Auburn, population 24,000, voted unanimously to provide the tablets to 285 kindergarteners and their teachers. At $475 a pop, the investment will cost around $200,000, but the board hopes the tablets will help boost literacy from 62 percent to 90 percent by 2013. Superintendent Tom Morrill says the investment's worth it, calling the devices "essential" and saying they're "even more important than a book." Morrill hopes to make the investment an annual one, giving iPads to every following class. His plan is to pay for the devices with private donations, but if that falls through, the bill will fall to the city's taxpayers.

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Is the iPad Set to Dominate Public Schools?

New York City just dropped $1.3 million on 2,000 iPads. Should your local school district do the same?


Remember when schools used to have the goal of every student having a laptop for classroom use? Well, that one-to-one student laptop program dream is so last year. In 2011, the iPad revolution is on, and school districts are increasingly investing in them as the education tech tool of choice.

The least expensive iPad starts at $499 a pop, but cash-strapped districts are placing the orders and writing the checks. The New York City Public Schools just purchased more than 2,000 iPads. The cost? $1.3 million dollars.

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