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Monday, October 18, 2010

Blending Computers Into Classrooms by BARBARA MARTINEZ

At P.S. 100 in the Bronx, fourth-graders look intently at their laptop computers, watching a cartoon character wearing big sneakers explain prime factors. Wearing headphones, the students listen to and see the multiple-choice questions on their screens and tap in their answers.
Suddenly, an instant message from their teacher pops up: "5 more minutes and then we'll review."

Diana Link, above, teaches students at P.S. 100 in the Bronx
Photo: David Turnley for The Wall Street Journal

P.S. 100 is one of more than 80 schools in New York City that is radically redesigning classrooms or integrating technology to change the way students learn. This year, the Department of Education is spending nearly $7.2 million on technology-based learning programs involving 13,000 students, up from $300,000 last year. While that's hardly a huge outlay in light of the DOE's $20-billion-plus budget, the agency plans to spend $30 million over the next three years and expand the effort to 400 schools. About $20 million of that budget is expected to come from the federal Race to the Top grant money that New York state won, while another $10 million will be raised privately.

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