Week in Arcade: Absolutely Nothing… Except Sales

This week might not include any new games, but there are plenty on sale. That means not even a total lack of content can stop the Week in Arcade.

Bear in mind that these are sort of pre-sales, with more stuff coming up on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Sales are almost all 50% and above. Sega has dropped Sega Rally Online Arcade, Outrun Arcade and Crazy Taxi to $5 each, plus Phantasy Star II down to a low $2.50. PopCap jumps in with 50% drops on Bejeweled Blitz and Bejeweled 2, also only $2.50 each. EA chooses to drop Fancy Pants Adventures to $5, The Baconing to $6, and, well, that’s it for EA.

One of the best deals might be Super Meat Boy for $5, the lowest it’s ever been, and Magic fans can snag the 2012 edition for only $5 too. There are a handful of Indie Games in the lists, plus DLC, themes, more games, and Avatar stuff. As always, Major Nelson has the full list of blow-out prices.

Learning on their laptops Dist. 54 to provide some grades with iBooks.(News)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) February 25, 2003 | Singh, Shruti Date Byline: Shruti Date Singh Daily Herald Staff Writer Dooley School teacher Jennifer Antonson is excited about the prospect of each of her students getting a laptop computer.

Her sixth-graders could research and write their English papers right at their desks, and they could read about history for social studies as current events occur, Antonson pointed out.

“I think back 20 years ago. A school wouldn’t even consider not having a set of encyclopedias,” said Antonson from her Schaumburg school. “This is a new resource every child should have access to.” Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 plans to give every student in grades four, five and six an Apple iBook laptop to use during the school year. The District 54 school board approved the project on Thursday. in our site ibooks for mac

The laptops will be phased in over the next three years. This fall, District 54 will provide laptops to about 1,700 students in seven of its 22 elementary schools. Another seven or eight elementary schools will receive laptops for their fourth-, fifth- and sixth graders beginning in the 2004-2005 school year. The remaining elementary schools will receive laptops for students in these grades beginning in the 2005-2006 school year. When the program is at its peak, about 5,100 students and dozens of staff members will work daily on laptops.

Each phase will cost about $2.1 million for hardware, software, training and support.

Officials said despite the budgetary constraints school districts face in this tough economy, they plan to pay for the program by reallocating money, and they won’t dip into reserves.

District 54 spokesperson Terri McHugh said each year the district spends money for various types of technology – from software licenses to desktop computers. She said, for example, in the upcoming school year the district would not need to buy desktop computers and would buy laptops instead.

The district this spring will choose the seven schools that will receive the first batch of Apple iBooks, based on current technology network and skills and strength of leadership in the building.

District 54 officials said along with books and blackboards, in this day and age laptops are logical learning tools for English, science, social studies or any other subject.

“We believe technology has to be woven into the subject,” said Marianne Zito, District 54 assistant superintendent for instructional services. “This is a modern-day book.” Zito said through the use of laptops, the district intends to enhance reading and writing skills, improve students’ connection with outside resources in a monitored environment and beef up technical skills. website ibooks for mac

She said the district hopes to equip these students with computer skills they can use in high school, college and the workforce.

“It certainly opens up the door to see what skills they will need in the future,” she said.

Through a pilot program conducted this fall in nine classrooms, students used the laptops to write journals, create presentations and do research on the Internet. District officials said teacher, parents and student surveys revealed the children were more motivated to work on assignments in school and at home, and they spent more time reading and writing.

Students also took laptops home everyday, which enabled them to show parents exactly what they did at school that day – something that moms and dads always want to know.

District officials said the results of the pilot program gave them qualitative information, but the program is too new for firm quantitative data about the improvement in literacy or technical skills.

Indeed, District 54 is one of just a handful of educational institutions implementing this program.

The Maine Department of Education launched an initiative this school year through which all seventh-grade students and teachers across the state receive iBooks. The department plans to provide all eighth-graders with laptops beginning the next school year.

When the $37 million state-funded Maine Learning Technology Initiative is in full swing, nearly 36,000 students and teachers will receive these laptops.

Tony Sprague, project manager of the Maine Learning Technology Initiative, said it’s too early to make definitive judgments about the benefits, but the enthusiasm the laptops generate among students is evident.

He said during a pilot program the state conducted last academic year, attendance improved dramatically during the nine weeks students received the laptops.

Henrico County Public Schools, a Virginia school system that provides laptops to nearly 25,000 high school and middle school students and teachers, also has noticed some preliminary benefits. The $21 million laptop program began in 2001.

School officials said last year, scores for the U.S. history section of the standardized high school U.S. Standard of Learning exam jumped 20 points from the year before. U.S. history was the only completely digitized subject in the district.

“They’ve benefited by all having access. When you look how fast info moves … this is the way the world is moving,” said Janet Binns, director of public relations for the Henrico County Public Schools.

Singh, Shruti Date