In Kiteery, Maine, 45 teachers and principals gathered from around Region 9 this week to see how Shapleigh Middle School seventh-graders have learned to use their iBooks.
School officials said the pilot program has raised the level of work by students who had been struggling in school, according to a
Shapleigh is one of nine demonstration schools, and the only one in York County, to test Gov. Angus King’s Maine Learning Technology Initiative. The $37 million program will supply 17,000 seventh-grade students and teachers with laptops, allowing the students to use them in school and at home, and the instructors to teach with them on a daily basis as part of the curriculum.
“The vision behind the [Learning Technology Initiative] is very simple: to provide the tools and training necessary to ensure that Maine’s students become one of the most digitally capable groups in the world,” states the Maine Learning Technology Endowment (MTLE) Web site. “With the change at both the national and state level to an economy and society that focuses more on knowledge and intellectual ability instead of brawn and manpower, its imperative that a major part of all students’ education focus on developing these skills.”
In 2003, Shapleigh eighth-graders will also get iBooks. It’s the first statewide program of its kind in the country, Tony Sprague, a spokesman for Gov. King, said last Wednesday.