The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Feb 26, 2013

Promoting digital literacy in Charlotte

Posted by Susan Patterson


One Laptop Per Child launch in Charlotte from Knight Foundation on Vimeo.

The big day is here! Beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET this morning, more than 2,000 elementary students in Project L.I.F.T. schools are receiving laptops.

The One Laptop Per Child  XO laptops, recognizable for their lime green covers and tiny keyboards designed specifically for younger students, are part of Knight’s $4 million investment in Project L.I.F.T. , the community-driven effort to ensure student success in some of Charlotte’s lowest-performing schools.

Teachers in the seven L.I.F.T. zone elementary schools received their laptops and training in how to integrate them into their teaching and lesson plans last fall. Some students have been giving them a test run since then.

When I recently visited Druid Hills, where today’s launch celebration was held, about a dozen second-graders impressed me with how comfortable they were in writing a story on them and how eager they were to share what they’d learned. I’m convinced that one girl will be a teacher herself one day. She was quick to hop up and help a classmate whenever a question arose.

Knight’s investment in the laptops reflects our belief that access to the Internet and digital skills are vital for success in today’s connected world. These laptops will be important tools for learning in the classroom and will open up the world to the students and their families.

Today we celebrated the arrival of these laptops – complete with pep band and cheerleaders. In just a few tomorrows, I’m certain we will be celebrating the students’ success, thanks to their use of these little green machines.

By Susan Patterson, program director/Charlotte at Knight Foundation

Related: "Using digital tools, literacy to reshape Charlotte" and "Charlotte leaders share path to increasing student achievement"

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