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Schools to improve Internet access

September 18, 1998|By LAURA ERNDE

Internet access at 13 Washington County schools will be improved during the third annual Net Weekend.

Nearly every classroom in the county has at least one Internet connection, said Dennis McGee, director of facilities management for the Washington County Board of Education.

Some have as many as four - one for the teacher and three in the back of the class to be shared by students, he said.

The weekend of Sept. 25, volunteers will help install new Internet connections at four elementary schools - Clear Spring, Eastern, Fountaindale and Boonsboro.

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Nine other schools will get new computers that weekend. They are the Alternative School, Cascade Elementary, Conococheague Elementary, Fairview Outdoor School, Greenbrier Elementary, Old Forge Elementary, Pangborn Elementary, South Hagerstown High and Williamsport Elementary.

The equipment is being paid for by state technology grants. Each of the 13 schools got $2,200, McGee said.

"That's obviously welcome. We've made a lot of progress," he said.

Now that the county's wiring is mostly up to date, more emphasis will be on buying computers and training teachers on how to integrate them into the curriculum, he said.

Some of the schools are planning open houses during Net Weekend to show parents and the public how technology is being used in the classroom.

This is the third year for Maryland's Net Weekend, which has helped improve Internet access at 15 county schools, McGee said.

In the first two years, 10,000 volunteers helped wire nearly 1,000 schools, said a press release from Gov. Parris Glendening's office.

This year, the program, cosponsored by GTE Communications Corp. and NEC America, awarded $866,000 in technology grants, the governor's office said.

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