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Some schools want a laptop in every backpack

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Herbert Hoover once promised a chicken in every pot. Now, some Wisconsin schools want a laptop in every backpack.

A pilot program in West Bend has 150 kids carrying out laptops. They're either involved in virtual high school classes, or special programs for advanced students.

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The district covers most of the cost of the $300 machines.

Pewaukee is looking at giving laptops to eighth-graders next fall. An official there says youngsters will fall behind if they don't get familiar with our growing digital world.

In Stevens Point, the Sentry Insurance Foundation has proposed laptops for all public and private high school freshmen next fall. That funding would last for five years.

Michigan State professor Yong Zhao, who's written a book on the trend, says there's a right way and a wrong way to make laptops part of children's schooling.

He says it's a waste when teachers have every student look at the same content on their computers -- something they can do with a single machine - or just replace paper textbooks with digital ones.

He says schools need to be more creative in capitalizing on the technology.

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