Printer Friendly

BREAKING DOWN THE WALLS OF THE CLASSROOM, STUDENTS TRAVEL AROUND THE WORLD IN 15 MINUTES WITH THE INTERNET

CUPERTINO, Calif., March 8 /PRNewswire/ -- When the Berlin Wall came tumbling down, students in the Shoreline School District just north of Seattle, Washington experienced the moment with their peers in Germany, thanks to the Internet. As the Gulf War broke out, the students exchanged messages with their peers in the Middle East, experiencing through them the devastation war can bring. And in a remarkable example of collaboration, students representing 150 schools in 50 countries and four continents worked together on a science project to gather and analyze data on the environment.

Such shared experiences with people around the world are what students in many California schools can look forward to after NetDay96 -- a statewide initiative launched by President Bill Clinton to wire California's schools for the Internet -- which takes place Saturday, March 9.

"Technology will take the student around the world four or five times in a 15 minute sitting," says Al Morasch, Team Director of Instructional Services, Shoreline School District. "We must break down the four walls of the classroom to let students out and bring the resources of the world in. Technology is allowing us to do that in a manner that is efficient, equitable, economical and deeply enriching."

Shoreline District isn't a newcomer to the Internet; it has been accessing it for more than three years and has worked with technology in the classroom for more than 15 years. The District has equipped its 500 classrooms with a total of 3,000 Apple Macintosh computers, and is fully networked with fiber optic cabling for voice, video, and data. The use of technology to improve instruction has been a long-standing goal of the school district and community. Funding has come through community bond sale approval that will extend instructional technology enhancements well past the turn of the century.

"Beyond the obvious capacity for honoring diverse student learning styles and providing access to information that is too current or remote to be purchased, the Internet can also serve to empower learners," says Morasch.

That empowerment comes as students sort through vast amounts of information, discern what is valuable and what isn't, and determine how they are going to put it together. For example, high school English students were asked to research a variety of information resources to gather background information on cultural myths. After checking school and local libraries, the students explored the Internet. They discovered dozens of resources. In fact, they found conflicting views from one source to the next, so the students became engaged in a thorough information evaluation process. They also found pictures and graphics which fit nicely into their multimedia projects.

"Many of our students have come to rely on the seemingly transparent Internet in much the same way that people rely on the telephone and cable TV systems," says Morasch. "Sharing projects and ideas with their classmates down the hall, across the District, or in other states or countries has become as commonplace to the students as the local phone call is to the rest of us."

Bridging the gap between home and school has been an important element of Shoreline School District's success. The district began by reaching out to parents through Introduction to Technology classes taught in the schools and in the district computer lab. The classes cover basic word-processing and emphasize that technology can make life and work much easier.

As parents became more comfortable with and knowledgeable about technology-based learning in Shoreline's schools, they became more aware of the need to get computers into their homes. But confusion about what exactly they needed frustrated these would-be computer owners. The PTA wrote a Request for Proposal to several technology suppliers asking to purchase competitively priced home computers. The result: a new program, Computer for the Family, that helped boost family computer ownership in the district to a whopping 70% -- a majority of which are Macintosh.

"We have the opportunity to provide families with an experience that places them in the driver's seat, offering a position of power and personal initiative. One in which they define the problem, gather data, communicate with people previously inaccessible, and then creatively produce representations of their learning," adds Morasch. "They are certainly worthy of our every effort."

About NetDay96

NetDay96 is a volunteer effort by California companies, schools, parents and students to wire classrooms, computer labs, and libraries in K-12 schools throughout the state to connect them to each other, and to the Internet.

Apple's Involvement in NetDay96

Apple Computer is joining other high-technology companies in support of NetDay96. The company views this an opportunity to raise the nation's awareness of the need for technology in the classroom, and to lay the groundwork for widespread connectivity.

Apple -- the #1 computer vendor in education -- and its employee volunteers are supporting NetDay96 efforts in several ways: bringing online several schools throughout the state; participating with a non-profit group in Napa County, California that is connecting every school in that county; and has hosted more than 20 free seminars on the Internet, networking, and technology planning throughout California over the last six months. These sessions were part of a series of more than 400 "Leading the Way" seminars that Apple has conducted since last fall throughout the U.S. Lastly, as schools map out a technology plan prior to laying the first wire, Apple's Teaching, Learning & Technology planning guide will prove to be an invaluable tool.

Apple Computer, Inc., a recognized innovator in the information industry and leader in multimedia technologies, creates powerful solutions based on easy-to-use personal computers, servers, peripherals, software, online services, and personal digital assistants. Headquartered in Cupertino, California, Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) develops, manufactures, licenses and markets solutions, products, technologies and services for business, education, consumer, entertainment, scientific and engineering and government customers in over 140 countries.

Customer Information Contact: If you are considering the purchase of an Apple product and would like to have product information faxed to you, call 1-800-462-4396 in the U.S. or 1-800-263-3394 in Canada. If you do not have a fax machine or would like to locate an Apple authorized reseller near you, call 1-800-538-9696. Customers outside the U.S. should contact their local Apple representatives for information.

Apple's home page on the World Wide Web: http://www.apple.com/; for information about education-specific products, service and programs visit Apple's education site: <http://www.education.apple.com>.

NOTE: Apple, the Apple logo, and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other brand names mentioned are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and are hereby acknowledged.
 -0- 3/8/96


/NOTE TO EDITORS: In preparation for NetDay96, this story is third in a series to profile schools that have successfully integrated the Internet into the classroom. To access the entire series, call 1-800-AAPL-FAX (1-800-227-5329) and enter your PIN number. If you do not have a PIN number, call the Public Relations Hotline at 408-974-2042./

/CONTACT: Katy Boos of Big Sky Communications, Inc., 415-851-5360, or email: bigsky@applelink.apple.com; or Carleen Levasseur of Apple Computer, Inc., 408-974-7971, or email: levasseur@applelink.apple.com/

(AAPL)

CO: Apple Computer Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU:

DS -- SJF001 -- 1486 03/08/96 08:35 EST
COPYRIGHT 1996 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 8, 1996
Words:1195
Previous Article:PROCYTE REPORTS FOURTH QUARTER AND YEAR END RESULTS
Next Article:NORRELL CORPORATION ANNOUNCES INCREASE IN FIRST QUARTER DIVIDEND
Topics:

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters