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Rahmcast: Chicago Mayor Partners with Media Giant to Bridge the Digital Divide

Rahm Emanuel and Comcast have teamed up to provide discounted computers and internet access for the city's low-income students.

Is Chicago eliminating the digital divide? On Tuesday Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced a new partnership between the city and the media conglomerate Comcast to provide computers and web access to the city's 330,000 low-income public school kids and their families. "Internet Essentials" will provide each family with a $150 voucher from Comcast that can be put toward the cost of a refurbished computer valued at up to $500. The company will also provide heavily discounted internet service for $9.95 a month and train families on digital literacy.

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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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