Dear Commissioner Horne:

In October of 2003 you asked me to chair the “Laptops for Learning” statewide ad-hoc advisory task force with the following charge:

The “Laptops for Learning” Task Force is charged with assessing the use of mobile laptop computers in all learning environments as it relates to student success in grades K–12. The Task Force is charged with producing a final report that addresses, at a minimum, the following issues:

  1. Studying national and state laptop initiatives to identify best practices as measured by student achievement or other measures of success;

  2. conducting a cost/benefit analysis of mobile technology as defined by anytime, anywhere authentic learning; and

  3. examining the equity of educational opportunities to ensure that students will have 21st century learning skills.

After a careful consideration of existing laptop initiatives, the needs of our students, and the readiness of many Florida school districts for mobile technology, the Task Force is pleased to recommend that Florida begin a measured implementation of mobile laptop computing. Many of our districts are ready for such an initiative and a statewide coordination of this project will allow for valuable research to guide future decision-making. The costs of a properly implemented demonstration project are manageable and the benefits innumerable. We owe it to our students to give them every opportunity for success in a world that demands a higher level of skills than ever before. The prosperity of our state depends on the quality of its workforce. There is no better investment in the future of Florida than to develop 21st> century learning skills in all of our students.

With the submission of this report, the Laptops for Learning Task Force has completed its charge. It was a pleasure to work with such a qualified group of professionals representing a broad spectrum of experience with technology in Florida schools. On behalf of all of the members of the Task Force, I thank you for the opportunity to provide direction and recommendations on this important subject.

Respectfully submitted,

Tina Barrios
Chair, Laptops for Learning Task Force

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