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Miami School Goes 1:1 in an Effort To Boost Performance

Every student at Holmes Elementary School in Miami, FL received an XO laptop last week as part of an effort to improve student performance.

The computers, provided by One Laptop Per Child (OLPC), are designed specifically for use by children and came preloaded with tools to allow students to follow their teacher's work and collaborate with their peers.

OLPC is also providing training for teachers, parents, and students as well as assistance in curriculum creation.

The school, with enrollment of approximately 500 students in grades preK-5, "is at risk of closing at the end of the year if its state test scores do not improve," according to information released by the Knight Foundation, which provided $245,000 in support of the initiative.

"With this project, every child will carry learning in the palm of their hands and we will be one step closer to leveling the educational playing field in Miami," said Atunya Walker, principal at Holmes.

The 1:1 project continues a relationship between the foundation and the school, which is part of a group of inner city schools in the Miami-Dade area that has received help from 350 Knight Foundation-funded Teach for America teachers.

"Access to the Internet and digital skills are vital for success in today’s connected world," said Jorge Martinez, who leads Knight Foundation's Universal Access Initiative. "We hope the laptops help these eager young minds at Holmes Elementary to become digital natives who are more informed and engaged in their classrooms and their community."

Visit holmes.dadeschools.net for more information about Holmes Elementary. More information about OLPC is available at one.laptop.org. Learn more about the Knight Foundation at knightfoundation.org.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is the multimedia editor for Campus Technology and THE Journal. He can be reached at jbolkan@1105media.com.

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