Students junk paper notepads for tablet PCs
SOON, River Valley High School's students won't need teachers to correct their calligraphy during Chinese lessons.

They'll use a tablet PC loaded with the right software to tell if they've written the Chinese characters correctly.

Two hundred students will take turns to use 30 tablet PCs.

The gadget is already proving useful when they have science lessons in their ecology garden.

They scrawl notes directly on the tablet PC, which can instantly convert their scribbles into typescript.

River Valley High and two other schools, yet to be identified, will be part of the tablet PC project for the next two years.

Such innovative possibilities can make learning and teaching more interesting.

That is why the Infocomm Development Authority of Singapore (IDA) and computer software giant, Microsoft, want schools here to try them out under their Backpack.Net initiative, a project that aims to drive IT use, research and development in education.

It will cost them, the participating schools and other industry partners about $20 million, $2 million just for the tablet PC tryout.

Acting Education Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam launched it yesterday morning at River Valley High in West Coast Road.

Students demonstrated how they would put the tablet PC to use in the classroom, science labs and ecology garden.

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