$3 million in equipment from Southwestern Bell

Educators from 71 schools and technology centers throughout Oklahoma have received $3 million worth of distance-learning video equipment—including televisions, video cameras, and computers—from Southwestern Bell. The equipment will allow schools to conference with colleges, museums, and other learning centers to create virtual classrooms.

“In today’s high-tech world, technology is becoming as integral to education as a chalkboard or a textbook,” said Jim Epperson Jr., company president for Oklahoma. “We’re striving to bring Oklahoma students and teachers, especially in rural communities, access to information they might not otherwise receive.”

Southwestern Bell agreed to provide the equipment, as well as $30 million for public and career technology schools, as part of a rate regulation agreement with the Oklahoma Corporation Commission. More than 230 schools have received roughly $10 million in distance learning equipment from Southwestern Bell in the last three years.


$2 million in high-speed internet service from Comcast

More than 160 public schools and libraries in Washington, D.C., will get free high-speed internet service from Comcast Communications Inc. as part of a $2 million initiative, the company has announced.

Comcast, which provides free internet access to more than 400 schools and libraries in Baltimore and surrounding counties, promised to extend the program to schools in each of its service areas.

“I can think of no better way to express our commitment to the District of Columbia than to provide the best service possible to our educational system,” said Donna Rattley, vice president and general manager of Comcast in Washington.

Rattley said the company also will offer free courses to help educators learn to use the internet as a teaching tool. The Comcast Foundation funds the Comcast Technology Academy, which has trained more than 3,300 area teachers.


$225,000 from the Colorado State Library

The Colorado State Library has awarded approximately $225,000 in grants to schools and libraries throughout the state. The funds are part of the federal Library Services and Technology Act for local-needs projects.

Lamar School District plans to use its $15,000 grant to upgrade its computerized card catalog system from Follett Software at three elementary schools and one middle school, as well as purchase all hardware and software needed to participate in the Colorado NEXUS project, which includes training in collection development, collaboration, and information literacy.

Other intended projects include a new computer lab for the library at Molholm Elementary School. Molholm is part of the Jefferson County Public Schools and also received $15,000 from the state.


$10,000 from Inspiration Software

Inspiration Software Inc. has awarded $500 scholarships to 20 teachers to offset the cost of a conference, course, or training event where visual learning and educational technology are highlighted.

The 2002 Inspired Teacher Scholarships for Visual Learning support ongoing professional development for teachers who demonstrate innovation in integrating visual learning and technology into the curriculum. Several winners—such as Danielle Abernethy, the instructional technology consultant for South Carolina’s Sumter School District Two—plan to use their $500 to attend the the National Educational Computing Conference in June.

Kathy Ricke, a seventh-grade teacher at Hingham Middle School in Hingham, Mass., will use the funds to study the effects that visual learning techniques have on students’ abilities to write essays for work toward her master’s degree in curriculum and instructional technology.


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