[Source: Dan Russo, News of Delaware County, PA] — Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell and Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano leaned over the shoulders of students in several classrooms at Upper Darby High School Thursday afternoon as they inspected the laptop computers in some of the state’s first Classrooms for the Future. The school is one out of 103 state-wide that have been selected through a competitive grant process for the new technology initiative approved by the governor and state legislature.
Over three years, the $200 million program aims to put computers, high speed internet access, and new software for every teacher and student. “I think the most beneficial part is the ability to communicate with the teacher directly,” said senior Jeneve Liberatore of the new program. Students are able to post questions and comments on message boards that are checked by teachers.
Liberatore was among a crowd following the governors and other VIP guests through the hallways of the school. “It teaches you that if you know the material, you’re able to teach it to another student,” she said after exiting a class where a math lesson was being taught using graphs made on computers. Upper Darby High was one of the first institutions in the state to put the new equipment into use, and students in several classrooms are using websites and message boards to work on lessons.
Napolitano, the chair of the national governor’s association said she hopes to carry program on in states across the nation as part of her organizations focus on innovation and education. “We’re really moving from an industrial age to an age yet to be named,” said Napolitano. “Our country, as many developed countries, has been outsourcing. How do we keep jobs? Our unique competitive advantage has been the ability to innovate, and innovate quickly.” [Note: To read the full article, click here.]