Students at Florida's Clearwater High School are using Kindle e-readers instead of textbooks this year as part of a new initiative. The students will have access to all of their texts on the district-owned Kindles, as well as additional features that allow them to take notes and highlight text as well as access word definitions and text-to-speech technology. The school opted for e-readers over laptops because of the lower cost, which is roughly equal to the price of two textbooks, the principal said.
Educators from 15 New Jersey school districts will take part in a three- to five-year professional-development program to increase their understanding of American history and improve their skills in the classroom. The federally funded program will have 30 teachers completing research and independent study and collaborating with experts in the field. "We want teachers to learn how to do the work of historians," the project's director said.
Education officials in New Jersey say they plan to get remedial instruction and support to students who are struggling in a more timely manner. Some 10,000 New Jersey seniors did not pass a new alternative graduation exam introduced last year, and a report revealed that many received passing grades without mastering the material and many had not received remedial help. A state official said eighth-graders who fail state tests will now be required to get immediate help and that schools will be held accountable.
A pilot program sponsored by a division of Texas Instruments is introducing 3-D projectors and educational content into classroom lessons in eight school districts across the country. One teacher in Texas used the technology to give third-grade students a virtual tour of the solar system, while another found that a 3-D math simulation helped simplify a lesson on volume for her sixth-grade students with learning disabilities.
A Florida school is using text messaging as part of classroom instruction. Jill Lloyd, who teaches 11th- and 12th-grade science, is using a free online program to survey students and project a live feed of the discussion on a screen in the front of the class. Students share phones with others who do not have them, and say they enjoy using the technology. "It gets the whole class to participate," one student said.