Kids learn in different ways. Some find it easier to understand and remember things they hear rather than read. Some find it easier to write by using a keyboard rather than a pencil and paper. Now technology is making it easier for kids to learn the ways they learn best.

In addition to the AlphaSmart, here are some other ways technology can help kids to learn, according to Marshall Raskind, an expert in learning technologies who consults for Schwab Learning.

Pocket spell-checkers: Some of these speak the word and spell it on the screen. Kids who have trouble reading find these very helpful.

Speech recognition programs: Kids can talk to a computer and write without having to type.

Optical Character Recognition (OCR): With this technology, assignments and even books can be scanned into computers, and the computer's synthetic "voice" reads them out loud.

Reading pens: These are the size of a small remote control and you can run them across a word you don't know. The pen "reads" the work out loud.

Talking calculators: Press a number and you'll hear it.

Books on tape: For kids who have trouble reading, this is a great way to get the story.

-- Ellen Edwards