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Kids, Classrooms and Computers

Boot Camp feature for Wednesday, May 17, 2000

Kids, computers and classrooms. Is technology really making a difference? Time flies. My youngest daughter is graduating from high school this year. The Class of 2000. Like most schools today, hers' is wired for the Internet. There have been computers in her classrooms for years. The problem, she tells me, is how few teachers have known how to use them as an educational tool. At Technology in Learning magazine, editor in chief and former teacher Judy Salpeter says there has been progress...

"There's been much more of an emphasis in the past few years on teacher training, on professional development and it's starting to turn around, but it's still a big job. A lot of people are very short-sighted about what professional development in the area of technology needs to be. It's not just teaching teachers how to turn on the computer."

Not long ago, I spoke with a group of kids in a special program at the Thomas Edison Middle School in Union City, New Jersey. They were issued laptops... to use in school and at home. The payoff? Homework presentations done in PowerPoint...

"It gives you more leeway to work on things. You can put certain clipart into it, you can put Word art." "Well we use the computer for Microsoft Office and the Internet." "Well, it's easier with the computer because you have the Internet to look up information."

Talk to their teacher and he'll tell you, what the new digital tools have created most of all, is enthusiasm. You can find links and archives at our home on the Web at ThirdAge.com. Bootcamp, I'm Fred Fishkin for CBS News.