Most educators seemed cautiously optimistic about the merger announced Jan. 10 between America Online (AOL) and Time Warner. School leaders who spoke with eSchool News shortly after the announcement expressed the hope that the pact might help close the "digital divide" by increasing high-speed internet access to poor schools.

Some said the deal might increase the amount of digital content available to enrich instruction. Others expressed concerns about too much media concentration and about whether the deal would cool AOL's enthusiasm for open cable access.

Assuming the transaction is approved by federal regulators, the $162...

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