Hundreds of new computers from Oracle Corp.
Oracle Corp. is spearheading an effort to get inexpensive, internet-ready computers into urban Chicago classrooms by the start of the school year through a partnership with the New Internet Computer Co., which was cofounded by Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison.
The company is built on the premise that computers dedicated to internet browsing and eMail can be manufactured inexpensively and provide rapid access to online services for the millions of Americans who cannot afford conventional computers. New Internet Computers (NICs), which do not have internal memory, cost as little as $199.
Five hundred NICs, the flagship product of the New Internet Computer Co., already have been donated by Oracle to Chicago schools, and the company has pledged to match donations from area businesses to fund up to 500 additional units.
NICs are part of Ellison’s plan to give all school children access to the internet, a project called Oracle’s Promise. In May, the program made its first donation of 1,200 NICs to the Dallas Independent School District, a commitment that ultimately will reach $100 million, according to Ellison.
Contact: Michael Salort at (646) 245-3588
$500,000 from the Bell Atlantic Foundation
In June, the Bell Atlantic Foundation presented $500,000 to 19 projects in Massachusetts under its EdLink program. This is the last year of the program in its current format, because Bell Atlantic and GTE merged to become Verizon on June 30. The new company has started the Verizon Foundation, which is highlighted on page 68 of this issue.
The 4-year-old EdLink program brings hands-on use of technology to students in ways that will help them develop a school-to-career focus. The grants target grades 7-12 in public and private school districts that collaborate with institutions of higher education, community organizations, nonprofit agencies, or businesses.
As an example of a 2000 grant winner, Northern Essex Community College will create an internship and distance-learning program that will provide 20 educators with multimedia training and models for the use of mathematics in real-world applications that will help them prepare their students for statewide math exams.
Math and science technology training from Packard BioScience
This summer, Packard BioScience Co. treated K-12 teachers in Connecticut to a several-day course in using sophisticated electronic calculators in high school math and science classrooms. The program was part of the Project to Increase Mastery of Mathematics and Science (PIMMS), a series of professional development courses that provide state-of-the-art training and equipment to high school educators.
PIMMS programs strengthen and update teachers’ command of subject matter, familiarize them with effective teaching strategies and practices, and guide them to serve as agents of change through workshops and other in-service activities. More than 600 teachers have completed multiweek training sessions and earned the title of PIMMS Fellow, and these fellows, in turn, have worked with an estimated 22,000 of their colleagues throughout the state.
In the program supported by Packard BioScience this year, high school teachers were trained to use TI-83 calculators developed and manufactured by Texas Instruments.
Language learning system from Sony Electronics
Sony Electronics Inc. has selected Robert Service High School in Anchorage, Alaska, as the winner of its second annual Sony Symphony Grant Program. Sony will provide the school with its latest language-learning software, the Symphony LLC-8000A, and pay for training to use the system.
The Symphony educational package is a multimedia system that incorporates audio and visual components. The grant to Robert Service High School includes 10 digital PC recorders, an instructor console, and Windows-compatible software.
With the system, teachers can monitor students’ language progress closely, said Ron Remschel, national sales and marketing manager for Sony Education Systems.