ALHAMBRA — Some kindergartners at Emery Park Elementary School next year may learn to type their names into a computer before they learn to write.
Older students may submit term papers on videotape and correspond with computer pen pals on the East Coast.
Such activities will be made available to the students through a $2.5-million grant from the State Department of Education aimed at developing ways to use advanced technology in education. Alhambra will receive $500,000 in each of the next five years.
Begins in July
The project will begin July 1 at Emery Park and next year at Alhambra High School. The state may award up to five grants, but so far has named only Alhambra and the Monterey school district in Northern California.
Wendy Harris, director of the state Office of Educational Technology, said the Alhambra district designated the schools for the project. The state will study the use of technology in teaching and administration at those schools, she said.
District officials chose Emery Park and Alhambra High because most Emery Park students later attend Alhambra High, providing continuity for the study, said Gary Carnow, coordinator of instructional technology education for the Alhambra district.
"The curriculum is not going to change, but the technology will change the way the curriculum is learned," said Gail Lovely, the school district who will coordinate the program at Emery Park.
3 Computers Per Classroom
There will be three computers in each of the 17 elementary school classrooms, and each teacher will have one to use at home. Students also will work with instructional robots that will move around the room helping the youngsters, as well as with graphics computers and an electronic library.
School administrators also will experiment with expanding the use of computers in record-keeping.
Several local, state and national companies have agreed to donate equipment and personnel to the project. The district is negotiating with computer manufacturers including Apple, IBM and Tandy to purchase the equipment.
Dora Padilla, president of the Alhambra school board, is enthusiastic about the program.
"There are few times we can say that because of one specific thing the future will be better," Padilla said. "This is one of those special times."