Supporting School Use of Technology
You can encourage your children's online activities at home and at school.
Talk with your children, school staff, and other parents about what online
experiences are already part of classroom activities and what is being
planned. Get involved by:
- Helping schools get technology, including used equipment from government
agencies or businesses. For information on computer recycling, visit
and the Computer Recycling Project at http://www.voicenet.com/~cranmer/recycling.html.
- Helping your school and community participate in NetDay, a
grassroots volunteer effort to wire schools so their computers are networked
and have Internet access http://www.netday.org/.
- Sharing your expertise by volunteering in the classroom or organizing
training for teachers and other parents.
- Asking your local PTA to set up a "family night" on computers,
technology, and the Internet.
- Helping schools develop "rules of the road" that are discussed
with students before they go online.
- Joining the school's technology planning group.
| Special Opportunity for Schools
In May 1997, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved
a rule (known as the E-rate) giving schools 20 to 90 percent discounts
in access charges to the Internet and telecommunications services,
including wiring school buildings for the Internet. (The amount
of the discount depends on how many low-income students a school
serves and whether it is located in a rural, suburban, or urban
area). Starting in January 1998, more than $2 billion a year will
be available for the discounts (see http://www.fcc.gov/learnnet/
for more information).
To apply for a discount, a school must have a technology plan
that explains how the school will integrate technology into the
curriculum. The plan must also address hardware, software, training,
and maintenance issues. As a parent, you can play an active role
in helping your school develop a technology plan.
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