All the junior high students around here are issued their own laptops by the school. They carry them around during the school day and do the bulk of their work on them. Lab reports, book reports, and essays are all written on the laptops and then emailed to the teacher, who emails them back the corrections and their grade. Bear has even learned to make Powerpoint-style slide show presentations, which is a far cry from the handwritten index card & poster board prop speeches I used to put together in junior high.
Some of their textbooks are even loaded onto the computers (leading me to wonder why her backback still manages to weigh seventy billion pounds). It's all quite mind-blowingly Jetson-ish to someone who went to school twenty years ago in the Age of Paper Textbooks and Number Two Pencils, and who laboriously typed even her college papers on a Brother Selectric Typewriter with the optional super-cool white-out ribbon.
During study hall, they are allowed to "play" on their computers if their schoolwork is done. This means that I occasionally receive emails like this from Bear while she's at school:
"I messed up these pictures of myself!
Well, thank goodness she told me. I would never have known.
And, really? This is what I'm paying taxes for?