To the Editor:
Instead of spending $4 billion on the Race to the Top grant competition, the U.S. Department of Education should use that money to purchase 20 million netbook computers for 20 million students (“Race to Top Hopefuls Honing In-Person Bids for Share of $4 Billion,” March 17, 2010). That way, recipients could learn at any time, in any place, and at their own pace.
Such an effort would follow the vision of 1-to-1 laptop initiatives, and could be economically practical, given that current school staffs could implement the program. Instruction should start with English, math, and physics, and could then be expanded to other subjects and to such curricular areas as career and technical coursework.
The learning potential of providing a netbook or laptop computer for each student has enormous implications for our whole society. Kids are comfortable with electronic gadgets and adept at using them. It’s time to give them the chance to learn while doing so.
G. Stanley Doore
Silver Spring, Md.
A version of this article appeared in the April 07, 2010 edition of Education Week as Use Stimulus Funds For Electronic Learning