Last fall, all 500 sixth-graders in the Grand Forks, N.D., school district received a netbook computer with Internet access, a Web browser and a suite of open-source software. The computers are part of a three-year plan to help students develop 21st-century digital skills and the plan, teachers said, has helped students learn faster and better. "It places the responsibility for learning on the student," said social studies teacher Johanna Ibarra.

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