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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Bold Net goal in Maine

The former governor who put laptops in the hands of 7th- and 8th-graders statewide is now working on making Net connectivity available for free to any household in Maine that can't afford it. Angus King, who left office in '02, has started a foundation, the Maine Learning Technology Foundation, to extend the laptop program to connectivity for all students," Stateline.org reports, in keeping with his vision for Maine to gain "an economic edge by becoming the most digitally literate state in the nation." At least where tech-enabled students are concerned, the numbers are positive. "Independent studies by researchers at the University of Southern Maine say the positive impact of the laptop program is being felt statewide." More than 80% of the teachers surveyed last year said students who are using the state-provided laptops were more engaged in their schoolwork and produced better work, and 70+% of students surveyed said the laptops "helped them to be more organized and complete higher-quality schoolwork more quickly."

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