$135M To Put Teachers Online

Research shows that having computers in classrooms doesn't help children achieve unless teachers know how to use the computers.

So Vice President Al Gore announced $135 million in grants Tuesday to train 400,000 teachers to use technology in the classroom, CBS News White House correspondent John Roberts reports.

The money comes from the Department of Education.

"We're making real progress in connecting our children to the future with computers and Internet access, said Gore. "Now we're acting to ensure that new teachers entering the workforce are ready to use these powerful Information Age tools for teaching and learning."

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Gore is encouraging technology-savvy teachers to communicate more frequently with parents, exchange the best lesson plans with their colleagues over the Internet and help all students meet high standards.

Many of the grants will focus on the needs of low-income communities and rural areas.

The administration's education initiative has four goals:

  • Increasing the number of computers in the classroom.
  • Encouraging the development of high-quality educational software.
  • Training teachers to use technology effectively.
  • Connecting every classroom to the Internet by the year 2000.
Schools will need to hire 2.2 million new teachers over the next five years.

Research shows that classroom technology has little effect on student achievement unless teachers are well prepared and knowledgeable about new technology.