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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Students at Gulfport Elementary are first to get laptops



Third and fourth graders at Gulfport Elementary School received laptops last night, as part of a new initiative to eliminate the "digital divide" between students who have access to technology and those who don't.

Gulport is the first of 36 Title 1 schools to get the laptops, which are being paid for with federal money. Students and parents were invited to a training session where they received the laptops in silver and black backpacks and got a quick run-down on how to access the educational websites purchased by the district. The laptops also come equipped with Microsoft Office.

Superintendent Mike Grego, who was on hand for the start of the evening, told parents that he encourages siblings to use the computers as well. The idea is for students to play educational games outside of school - using some of the same sites they use in school - to extend learning beyond the school day.

"This is about fun at home, but it's also about serious academic learning," Grego said.

More than 100 parents, students, family members and siblings attended the event. Grego said they were hoping for 60 percent to 70 percent participation, but got close to 100 percent at Gulfport.

Bright House also was on hand to sign parents up for discounted Internet access.

[Last modified: Thursday, October 31, 2013 3:32pm]


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