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Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Tablet PCs in school

They're basically laptops you write on, like a notepad, and they're gaining ground in US schools. "Educators at a handful of schools, many of them private high schools, are pressing ahead with plans to issue students tablet PC's for use in English, foreign language, math, science and social studies classes, the New York Times reports. Two obstacles they faced were price (that's coming down) and handwriting recognition (that has improved with Microsoft's update of the Windows XP Tablet PC operating system, according to the Times). Teachers apparently like the collaboration tablet PCs allow. In one math class, "a teacher could write out an equation in a shared workspace that is displayed on the classroom's [electronic] whiteboard, and students seated at their desks can use their tablet pens to take turns adding steps to it." The teacher told the Times it was like having 20 kids at a blackboard, chalk in hand. Teachers can also see how students are progressing on a pop quiz, as they're taking it, cut down on after-school (and in-school) paperwork, and catch any instant messages being circulated during classtime (uh oh, I can see paper coming back in fashion for classroom socializing!).


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