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Archive for Wednesday, September 6, 2000

Generation ‘Y’ goes online

Junior high students show their elders a thing or two about the ‘Net

September 6, 2000

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Sean Edmiston outlined plans for creation of a Web-based virtual tour of Central Junior High School.

South Junior High School student Alex Curnes presented his Powerpoint lesson on tornado formation.

And, Priga Mishra demonstrated the technology-infused algebra guide she prepared for peers at Southwest Junior High School.

It's just the kind of show to quicken the baud rate of Linda Roberts, director of the U.S. Department of Education's office of technology and special adviser to Education Secretary Richard Riley.

"Many of you are much further ahead of your teachers and parents," Roberts said.

Edmiston, Curnes and Mishra were serving a vital role as ambassadors of technology said Roberts, who was in Lawrence Tuesday to observe results of the federally funded "Generation www.Y" program at the district's four junior high schools.

The students' hard work is necessary to help close a gap in the United States between those with computer skills and those without.

"It's a digital divide between those under 30 and those well beyond that. I see it every day," Roberts said.

Generation www.Y allows junior high school students to work collaboratively with teachers to create academic projects and lesson plans.

Janice Fullerton, a South teacher involved in Generation www.Y projects, said enthusiasm among students was astonishing.

"This is the first time I've taught a subject where students beg to meet with you in the summertime," she said.

Greg Rasmussen, coordinator of education technology with the Kansas Department of Education, said Roberts has been instrumental in allocation of $10 million to Kansas for infusion of technology in classrooms.

A portion built Kansas' Generation www.Y program into the second largest in the nation. Only the state of Washington, where the program originated, has more students involved.

"We have found it to be very successful," Rasmussen said. "Students, we need you to help us integrate technology in the classrooms."

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