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Technology Counts 1999: Building the Digital Curriculum


"You've got your computers, your link to the Web, your class full of students. Now what? For years, teachers had little reason to give this question much thought. Most didn't have any computers in their classrooms, not to mention access to the Internet. "Technology" was something their students did once a week in a lab.

Today, boxes and wires are still an issue for all but the wealthiest schools. But a critical mass has been reached. More than half the nation's classrooms are connected to the Web, and schools have an average of one instructional computer for every 5.7 students.

Now, there's no escaping the all-important question of what to put on those computers. Increasingly, educators are recognizing that they need to focus on what kinds of computer-based learning resources, or "digital content," they should use in their classrooms.

But this overarching question only leads to more questions: How do you judge the quality of software and Web sites? How do you find appropriate materials? When should such resources be used? How much should teachers rely on them? How should they be integrated into the curriculum?"