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New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina speaks with students Carlos Cruz and Lluvia Hernandez while visiting a school in Brooklyn earlier this year. Spencer Platt/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Teachers are incorporating mobile technology and a digital sensibility into classroom lessons with assignments such as this one: to caption a historical photograph for teacher Nicholas Ferroni's high school history class in Union, N.J. Courtesy of Nicholas Ferroni hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Nicholas Ferroni

Margaret Martin (right) poses with student Jose Correa during a Harmony Project open house at the Ramon C. Cortines School for Visual and Performing Arts in Los Angeles. Esteban Rael/Harmony Project hide caption

itoggle caption Esteban Rael/Harmony Project

Amir Pinkney-Jengkens, 8, is learning trombone through Harmony Project, a nonprofit that provides musical instruments and instruction to children in low-income communities. Recent research suggests that such musical education may help improve kids' ability to process speech. Annie Tritt for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Annie Tritt for NPR