Donations help St. Charles create technology center

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 18, 1998

By Michael Kiral / L’Observateur / March 18, 1998

LULING – We are living in the Information age, a time where just about any information we need is right at our finger tips. As the 20th Centuryopened, we were experimenting with the telegraph and telephone. Now wereceive information on any number of subjects from almost anywhere on the globe in the blink of an eye.

As the world becomes more and more tied in to technology, today’s students need to learn about computers, the internet and other forms of multimedia or risk falling behind their peers.

The St. Charles Parish School System recently received a donation fromthree businesses that will it to prepare its students for the 21st Century.

The contributions of the three companies – GE Capital, Safari Technologies and Compaq Computer Corp. – has helped the district create one of thefinest Technology Learning Centers not just in the state but in the country, as well.

Students and teachers in the parish can go to the Technology Learning Center, located on the second floor of the school district’s central office in Luling, to work on a variety of tasks. There, they can work on state-of-the art technology consisting of 15 Compaq multi-media computers, educational software and a Compaq file server.

This equipment, amounting to over $45,000, was donated by Compaq.

Safari Technologies has developed a way to tie this technology together through a voice, video and data network, a donation of more than $35,000 to the district. GE Capital provided the integration and installation of thesystem as well as training and staff development, a contribution of over $20,000, bringing the total donations from the three companies to over $100,000.

This contribution will assist the district in achieving its vision of “a school district which facilitates a successful learning process for all activities through the utilization of superior, real world technologies.”The district already has six projects enacted to help achieve this vision with six other projects in the works. The first project is access to theinternet which is available at all schools in the district. Teachers can setup web pages and bookmarks for students to use in researching topics. KenStall, the district’s director of management systems, said at one local high school students recently held a video conference with Mary Landrieu and asked her about political issues.

The access to the internet also give teachers access to information that is not available in their classrooms or in the schools. Teachers can shareresources with each other at home and at school.

The second program is the second and third grade program that has placed network multimedia computers in each classroom. The program allowsstudents to access information whether from the internet or videotape and bring it to their desktops. Students at one local school are researchingtopics to create books. Another has students reading books andresearching the author and then e-mailing that author.

Other current projects implementing technology are the career technology and science labs at the middle schools, the HOSTS program and the high school labs. Projects in the works include the fourth grade computerproject, the Student Information System and a central television studio.

“I am really excited about what is going on in technology in the parish,” Stall said.

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