September 23, 1999

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Vol. 19, Issue 04
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You've got your computers, your link to the Web, your class full of students. Now what?
With its colorful banners and incessant public announcements, the annual NECC trade show held this summer at the Atlantic City Convention Center-has the kind of festive, competitive atmosphere you might find at a state fair. Everywhere you turn, vendors are giving away beach towels, candy, stuffed animals, online subscriptions, and more in hopes of attracting potential buyers.
Teachers and students don't just use digital content. More and more often, they make it as well, thanks to the growing popularity of computer tools for creating, analyzing, and publishing data and information.
On a drizzly day here in this small town, a new piece of software is making a good impression on Warren Buckleitner, a former teacher and the editor of Children's Software Revue magazine.
Greg Bardwell and his wife, Anne C. Lennon, have often feared for the future of their tiny educational software company.
A school can have the best software ever made and access to the Web on every computer. But it won't see much difference in student learning, experts say, unless its teachers know how to use the digital content in their classrooms.
Technology can provide a fertile medium for learning, but it is still the teacher who plants the seed. That's a lesson that comes across vividly in Florence McGinn's classroom.
When Virginia approved new state achievement tests in the fall of 1997, districts had to change their curricula in a hurry. The tests were based on state standards that are among the most detailed in the nation, and schools had just eight months to prepare their students to take them.
Americans continue to invest heavily in technology for schools. And with more and more research showing that technology can pay dividends in student learning, the investment would seem to be a good one.
FOUNDATION SUPPORT: Coverage of specific topics in Education Week is supported in part by grants from the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the CME Group Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the Joyce Foundation, the NoVo Foundation, the Noyce Foundation, the Raikes Foundation, the Wallace Foundation, and the Walton Family Foundation. The newspaper retains sole editorial control over the content of the articles that are underwritten by the foundations. Additional grants in support of Editorial Projects in Education’s data journalism and video capacity come from the Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust and the Schott Foundation for Public Education. (Updated 1/1/2017)

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