theodp writes "Four decades ago, the NSF-sponsored PLATO Elementary Reading Curriculum Project (pdf) provided Illinois schoolchildren with reading lessons and e-versions of beloved children's books that exploited networked, touch-sensitive 8.5"x8.5" bit-mapped plasma screens, color images, and audio. Last week, the Today Show promoted the TeacherMate — a $100 gadget that's teaching Illinois schoolchildren to read and do math using its 2.5" screen and old-school U-D-L-R cursor keys — as a revolution in education. Has early childhood education managed to defy Moore's Law?"
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