HomeworkNOW.com puts coursework online

Schoolteachers in more than 275 schools nationwide are posting their classroom assignments online using HomeworkNOW.com, a free World Wide Web service that enables educators to update coursework on a daily or weekly basis.

The three-year-old Winchester, Mass.-based company's audience has grow dramatically, said co-founder Nick Rago.

"The first year there were 20 schools using it sporadically, but last year we saw more and more users," he said. "It took schools a little while to come around, and now that they have Web sites, they want to know what they can do with it."

The HomeworkNOW system (www.homeworknow.com) does not cost schools money or require any hardware. Schools need only a computer with Internet access. Teachers log in through a page that enables them to post or edit assignments, while students and parents access the work at the teacher's URL address or through the company's home page. More than 150,000 students from across the country use the service, Rago said.

"We started last year with a pilot of 10 technology-savvy teachers, and it was so successful that we took it schoolwide this year," said Sandy Ewanowski, technology coordinator at the McConnell Middle School in Loganville, Ga. "The teachers love it because the kids can't say the dog ate my homework anymore."

Ewanowski said many teachers update their pages daily and that all 52 of the school's core curriculum teachers use the service.

HomeworkNOW is privately funded. The company has plans to add more functionality to the site, based on polling responses from teachers and administrators.

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