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Pencils down, laptops up

But the district's technological initiatives are not confined to the classroom. With an overhaul of the district Web site, parents can now check report cards online and sign up to receive alerts from the district or individual schools via email or text message.

Additionally, the district is now making video of Board of Education meetings available online. The meetings are already taped to for broadcast on community access television TV-18 at 6 p.m. on Sundays, so it was simply a matter of getting the tape onto the district's Web site, said Communication Director Matt Leon.

The plan is to get the Wednesday meetings online by the following Monday, and to make the last three meetings available.

As for where the district will go as the 21st century marches on, Monroe said that it will likely be as it has been, in small, measured steps. It has long been a vision for every student to come to school armed with a laptop instead of hauling books and binders.

"The technology almost has to be looked at as more of a tool," said Monroe.

Still, in a time when the harbinger of deep programming cuts and even layoffs is ever present, it's hard to say what the next step might be.

"I guess it comes down to, what are the district's priorities? Where do we want to be in two years and five years?" she continued.

In related news, BC parents will have the opportunity to hear from an expert in the field of technology in education on Monday, Dec. 14, when Will Richardson, the author of "Blogs, Wikis, Podcasts and Other Powerful Web Tools for Classrooms," will give a presentation in the high school auditorium at 7:30 p.m. There will be an opportunity for the public to ask questions of Richardson after his presentation.""

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