Intel Corp. plans to announce today that it has chosen a California high school to become the second in the nation to participate in its Model School Program, eSchool News has learned. Over the next six months, the company and its partners will contribute $3.9 million in products and services to the school and showcase it around the world as a model for the future.

Whitney High School in Cerritos, Calif., is no stranger to success. In fact, the school ranks among the state’s best for student achievement. With today’s announcement, the school also will become a benchmark to which other schools can compare their own technology initiatives.

With the agreement, Whitney will receive a variety of services from Intel and participating partners, including a number of wireless and wired devices, computers, software, and audio-visual components.

According to Terry Smithson, K-12 education manager for Intel, Whitney High “will be a world showcase school.”

Among other amenities, the program will furnish the school with 100 wireless desktop and 100 wireless laptop computers. Each machine will run with Intel’s latest Pentium 4 technology.

“We will be showcasing some real cutting-edge technology,” said Mike Mustillo, the school’s technology coordinator.

Mustillo said the Intel-sponsored project will supply a combination of wireless technology and Ethernet services. When it is completed, students will have the ability to log on to the school’s network from home and take advantage of ubiquitous computing through the addition of several wireless components. The company also is considering offering video conferencing services.

“It will really give the students a chance to shine,” Mustillo said.

In addition to supplying new hardware, Intel also will upgrade existing machines for high-speed internet access.

According to Smithson, the upgrades are a good way to demonstrate how old machines can be made new for schools at a fraction of the cost.

“We want [schools] to be able to get the best value for their budget,” he said. A range of software products will be offered to aid in learning and professional development. Companies that have agreed to furnish software titles include NCS Pearson, Riverdeep, bigchalk, and Blackboard.

Mustillo said that software packages will include tools for curriculum, standards, and teacher development.

Intel chose Whitney as the second school in a two-part testing module to explore, deliver, and demonstrate the best possible wireless and integrated technology solutions for schools.

The first school, Miami Carol City Senior High School in Miami, will function as a totally wireless institution. Conversely, Whitney will serve as model for the use of integrated technology that includes both wireless and hard-wired services.

According to Intel, the goal of the project is to provide two separate road maps for schools to follow to achieve the best educational value from their technology options. Miami Carol will serve as a blueprint for the wireless tract, while Whitney will emerge as the standard for schools seeking the use of wholly integrated services, Intel said.

Students are not the only ones receiving technology help from Intel. The program also provides for teachers and educators to attend a retreat that will focus on teaching them how to use and implement the new services effectively.

Mustillo said the opportunity for staff development is key.

“Students are often more fearless about technology than teachers can be. This is a great way to get the information out there,” he said.

The retreat will allow educators to ask questions and receive training before they are expected to integrate the technology into busy classroom environments.

Mustillo said the program is slated to be up and running fully when the school opens again in September.

Whitney and Miami Carol are the only two schools that Intel has agreed to “world showcase,” Smithson said, but all schools are welcome to apply for technology from the company’s Model School Program.

According to Smithson, if Intel likes what it hears from their proposals, it will furnish other schools with certain technology needs. For more information, see the company’s web site.

Links:

School Technology Buyer’s Guide
http://www.eschoolnews.org/buyersguide

  • Company Search on “bigchalk,” “Blackboard,” “Intel,” “NCS Pearson,” “Riverdeep”
  • Intel Model School Program
    http://www97.intel.com/modelschools/index.htm

    Whitney High School
    http://welcome.to/whitney

    Miami Carol City Senior High
    http://www.dade.k12.fl.us/mcarolcity