From chalkboards to iPods, technology use in schools has come a long way, reports the Bismarck Tribune—and state and local officials say technology such as iPods and electronic book reading devices help to enhance students’ learning. LeAnn Nelson, director of professional development with the North Dakota Education Association, said using technology in school curriculums is becoming more popular. While the majority of teachers are open to new technology, Nelson said, they are a bit nervous about using it.

“They really don’t understand the technology as well as the kids do,” she said. “It’s just understanding what the technology is and how to use it effectively.” Nelson said technology should be used more to enhance a lesson, not to replace anything. Measuring the success of students due to technology integration in the classrooms is difficult, she added. “It’s hard to determine whether the technology was really the factor in increasing student achievement,” Nelson said. “There’s reports that say that it does, but then there’s a lot of other things going on in the classroom that may have affected that achievement as well.” Del Quigley, principal of Lincoln Elementary in Dickinson, said the use of technology there has been beneficial. Quigley estimates there are about 12 iPods in classrooms in Lincoln. He said school officials also are looking into getting small camcorders called Flip cameras for students and teachers, who could post demonstrations of lessons online for parents to refer to when helping with homework…

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