Henrico County, Va., is entering the 10th year of its novel program to provide a laptop computer to every middle and high school student. Now ubiquitous, the laptops have become central to Henrico’s instructional curriculum—and school officials say their use has expanded the possibilities for learning, engaged students in the learning process, and prepared them better for college and the workforce, reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. “You cannot have a 21st-century learning environment that doesn’t have technology,” said Christopher Corallo, executive director of Organizational Development, Quality and Innovation, which oversees Henrico’s instructional technology. County officials, teachers, and students proclaim the one-to-one laptop program a success. They say it provides an opportunity to experience education beyond paper, pen, and textbook. But school officials also are quick to say they do not see a clear connection between the laptops and improvements in Standards of Learning test scores and note that the program’s goals are not solely about improving achievement. “When the initiative started out, it was to close the digital divide, give kids who may not have access to technology access. I think that’s been done,” Corallo said. “It was also to provide extra resources, so that students would be able to pass SOL tests. Beyond the regular textbooks, they could download digital resources. I think that has been done.”

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