If you think the instructional computer programs we used to refer to as "integrated learning systems" are big, rigid, and focused only on repetitive practice ‹ what critics call "drill and kill" ‹ take another look. Software companies are selling automated curriculum services in smaller, less-costly packages, adding more sophisticated instructional design, and giving teachers more control. Some are even integrating the internet into their systems.

For all their development, integrated learning systems‹or "interactive curriculum systems (ICS)," as they now might more accurately be called ‹still do what they were designed to do back in...

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