When Patrick Baccillieri took over as principal of Chicago's South Loop Elementary School four years ago, the only internet-connected computer was in the main office, and the school's lone computer lab was equipped with only a few old IBMs. At the time, Baccillieri said, South Loop, like many schools throughout the city, was still struggling to embrace technology as a tool for learning.

What a difference a few years can make.

These days, South Loop is bustling with innovations that include wireless laptop carts, an interactive media center, and a full-time technology instructor whose job is to ensure that teachers


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