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Bill Gates

Can computers enhance the work of teachers? The debate is on

In middle school, Junior Alvarado often struggled with multiplication and earned poor grades in math, so when he started his freshman year at Washington Leadership Academy, a charter high school in the nation's capital, he fretted that he would lag behind.

But his teachers used technology to identify his weak spots, customize a learning plan just for him and coach him through it. This past week, as Alvarado started sophomore geometry, he was more confident in his skills.

"For me personalized learning is having classes set at your level," Alvarado, 15, said in between lessons. "They explain the problem step by step, it wouldn't be as fast, it will be at your...

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