A contingent of Johnston Middle School students brought some of the school’s laptop computers to the statehouse this week to show lawmakers what they can do with portable technology. Eighth grader Josh Merritt says the laptops are a better investment than desktops in a computer lab. Merritt says his school has two classroom computer labs, but another 64 portable laptops that can be taken from classroom to classroom, wherever a computer’s needed. Merritt says the state should spend the money to buy every kid a laptop computer. Deb Lyons, Merritt’s science and math teacher, says the school’s wireless laptops are a valuable link to updated textbook information. Lyons says textbooks get outdated quickly, but they have a special link to updated material as well as related sites on the Internet. Lyons says Iowa State University has a 300-thousand dollar microscope the kids can access on-line, so her eighth graders can use the same materials as a school with a university-sized budget.
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