NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — So long, chalkboard. Hello, smartboard.

The technology revolution is in full swing. How students are educated is changing. Computers and Web access are indispensable teaching tools.

This week, New York voters recognized that and chose to make an investment in the future, WCBS 880’s Sean Adams reported. Sixty-percent of voters approved borrowing $2 billion for tech upgrades in schools.

It’s perfect timing, said New Rochelle schools Superintendent Brian Osborne.

“The state has projected that this year, this school year, will be the last year of the paper-and-pencil state assessment, and that next year will begin the next generation of assessment, which will all be taken online,” Osborne told Adams.

“I think we’re just a couple of years out from seeing almost all of our teaching and learning be fully digitized,” Osborne added.

But he said we are not there yet.

“Right now, we are not wired for wireless in all of our spaces,” Osborne said. “We don’t have enough devices.”

Each of New York’s 700 school districts will be eligible for a set amount based on the state aid formula, but districts will have to clear their plans to spend it with a state review board.
The Smart Schools Bond Act also provides money for expanding prekindergarten programs.

Supporters see the measure proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo as a way to close the technology gap between wealthy and poorer school districts.

“I am convinced this is the right direction for the state,” Cuomo said. “I am convinced this is the single best thing we can do to get New York up that list in terms of performance. And if we start it, the private market will follow. And … it’s all about doing the best we can for our children, who deserve the best.”

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