Technology coordinators face daunting task

December 19, 1997


Staff Writer

Keeping up with computer technology is a big job, as is making sure hundreds of elementary students can understand it.

That translates into a big job for technology coordinators in Washington County schools.

Some schools have business partners that donate thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment to teachers.

But if schools do not have that luxury, they end up getting the equipment themselves.

At Salem Avenue Elementary School, technology coordinator Alan Zube has had computers donated by Fort Ritchie, Hagerstown Junior College, and NASA.

Not all of it was set up for use in the classroom. The computers from HJC, for example, used old 51/4-inch disks and Zube had to find 31/2-inch disks to make them suitable for classroom use.


"We're piecing the whole thing together as we go," said Zube, who estimates he puts in about 100 extra hours a month working on computers for the school.

On a recent day at the school, Zube was working on computers in a small area off the auditorium stage when a student stepped in and asked Zube if he could come to one of the classrooms to fix a problem with another computer.

Zube said he is called on about five times a day to fix computer problems in classrooms. In addition, he teaches gifted students.

"He needs to be on rollerblades," said fellow teacher Carol Corwell-Martin.

Zube said managing a school's computer system back when it consisted of one lab and a fairly simple network was not a problem for one person. But adding 20 or 30 classroom computers plus a lab is difficult for only one person to control, Zube said.

"Technology is both a blessing and a curse," said Zube, who also has worked as a technology coordinator for Northern Middle School and Thomas Johnson High School in Frederick, Md.

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