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Besides utilizing the Web on a more personal level, the learning opportunities for students with individual Internet-connected devices cannot be ignored.

"The one-to-one movement is gaining steam -- having one Internet-connected device per child -- and that is incredibly motivating," according to McLester. "You can teach in a whole different way; kids can find information quickly. There is more to analyze, synthesize, and more use of higher-order thinking skills."

"This new shape that information has taken enriches what it means to be literate, and if students are not learning about and with these new information tools, then we are just preparing them for the 1950s."
Lower prices soon may make handheld devices accessible to larger numbers of students. "My big prediction is that one-to-one computing will soon be affordable," Johnson told Education World. "When parents can purchase a $200 device that allows their kids to connect wirelessly to the rest of the world and when they insist that schools allow students to use these devices throughout the day -- which is already being done to some degree with cell phones -- the classroom will be radically changed. This will be the meteor that disrupts the slow evolutionary path technology has been on."

McLester agreed. "There is going to be a one-to-one tsunami," she predicted. "Technology is getting lighter, cheaper, and more portable. We will see a device that is more integrated into all of our daily lives. Tablets will become more ubiquitous, and there will be a way to move data without carrying around a bunch of stuff. There really is no reason to lug textbooks around anymore."

Cell phones are likely to become the information-delivery-method of choice, since they can access the Internet as well, Hendrie suggested.

Many states are starting to work with companies to help get portable devices into students hands, McLester added.

"I think this will suddenly get very big," she said. "Looking to fund it will be critical. Training teachers to teach in the new environments is critical."

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AND THE PLAN IS Theres lots of fun stuff out there, but instead of buying the latest and greatest, first determine what problems you need to solve. Then find the tools that provide the solutions.