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The Education Desk is our education blog focusing on key areas of news coverage important to the state and its improvement. Evidence of public policy performance and impact will be reported and analyzed. We encourage you to engage in commenting and discussing the coverage of education from pre-natal to Higher Ed.Dusty Rhodes curates this blog that will provide follow-up to full-length stories, links to other reports of interest, statistics, and conversations with you about the issues and stories.About - Additional Education Coverage00000179-2419-d250-a579-e41d385d0000

Technology Is Changing Decatur Classrooms


Students at Decatur public schools will each have their own iPad or laptop to use. That's the goal the district has set for the coming two years. Elementary schools will have 1-to-1 iPads, middle schools will have a mix of iPads and laptops, and the two high schools will use laptops. At Eisenhower High School it's already taken place - with each student having their own MacBook Air.

The implementation at Eisenhower involves about 1,080 students. The students' families were initially asked to provide a $75 fee in order to take the machines home for use. When 1/3rd of families did not come up with the fee, it was decided that students would get the laptops to take home regardless, and those who had already paid were refunded. Ed Moyer, chief instructional officer for Decatur schools says it's important that all students get full use of the technology. He says the cost for laptops at Eisenhower High is about $1.5 million.

The increasing use of technology is part of a larger change in education according to Moyer. Laptops and iPads are largely replacing text books he says, and there's no longer the same need for computer labs. But there's more to it than just that. Moyer joined us for this interview, and begins the interview by telling us about the roll out of 1-to-1 laptops at Eisenhower High...

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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