Schools seek best uses for Internet Telecommunications to be discussed by school board

July 10, 1996|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,SUN STAFF

As technicians work to hook up all Carroll County schools to the Internet by the first day of school, academic supervisors are looking at how best to use the wealth of information students and teachers will have at their fingertips.

A proposal to write a policy on using computer networks and other kinds of telecommunications will be among the issues at the Board of Education meeting at 9 a.m. today.

Also on the agenda are a pilot program to change first- and second-grade report cards to better reflect the curriculum and a report on renovations planned at Francis Scott Key High School.

Previously, a handful of the county's 34 schools were connected to the Internet, usually at the initiative of a staff member who happened to be motivated and interested in computers.

Now, it will be a system-wide effort and will have a profound effect, said Gary Dunkleberger, assistant superintendent.

"We are going to see an enormous change in the way youngsters need to learn how to obtain information," Dunkleberger said. "This kind of information can change how kids learn if we are crafty enough to capitalize on it."

For example, he said, eighth-graders who study weather could call up East Coast radar images on the Internet and track a storm.

In writing a policy and list of procedures for using technology, Dunkleberger said, the staff is trying to write in flexibility in anticipation of changes. "The reality is, we know the types of technology available today might not be in use five years from now," he said.

The policy will address diverting students from access to inappropriate material, such as pornography, but still giving them use of most of the information available. "Unfortunately, the media have portrayed the Internet in very negative terms," Dunkleberger said. "Actually, it's a wonderful, wonderful source of information that no student of ours would have such ease of access to by conventional means."

Pub Date: 7/10/96

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