Cost-sharing plan gets 5000 laptops for SD students

Pilot program to bridge digital divide yields funds matching, teacher training.

In South Dakota, 5,000 high school students are carrying laptops to classes, thanks to a cost-sharing agreement between local school districts and the state, AP reports.

It's part of a pilot project to bridge the digital divide. Teachers were trained over the summer on how to implement machines in the classroom, says Wade Pogany, director of curriculum and instruction in the Education Department.

"The teachers will spend some time working with the students to find out how to manage the laptops in the classroom prior to any lessons being done on how to use them, what's appropriate use for them and they will spend some time working with the kids on what a laptop experience is like and how to approach that first off," Pogany said.

Through the South Dakota Classroom Connections project, the state will provide $1 for every $2 invested by the local school district toward the purchase of the laptops. The state's funding is made possible by a $4 million Citibank donation designated for technology-based initiatives.

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