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Orange County Focus

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA : Teachers Learning Skills for the Future

August 27, 1994|JEFF BEAN

About 250 teachers and administrators from the Saddleback Valley Unified School District hit the classrooms this week for a symposium about technology and how to use it.

Thursday's program, held at Rancho Santa Margarita Intermediate School, offered hands-on training in use of the Internet--which links computers throughout the nation into an information network accessible to many--as well as desktop publishing, multimedia production and several other high-tech tools.

"We want to show people how in the past year things have changed," said Linda Smith, the district's technology specialist. "We want to give an idea of what the future looks like, and which parts we can use now."

At one workshop, three dozen adults, sitting in scaled-down chairs designed for adolescents, looked into color screens while getting accustomed to terms like "gif," "fetch" and "gopher."

Mary Ann Olsen, a teacher at Los Alisos Intermediate School, warned her temporary charges to be patient.

Olsen said it would take "hundreds of hours" to learn a "moderate" amount about the Internet.

In two years, the district hopes to have all of its schools connected to the Internet, Smith said. The district's high schools will all have access this fall, she said.

In one workshop, Duffy Clark, principal of Mission Viejo High School, steadied his hand on a computer mouse as he prepared to get on the information highway for the first time.

But Clark encountered a little trouble. He never made it off the computer equivalent of an on-ramp during a brief presentation about the Internet.

"It will just take a little time," Clark said, smiling. "It's like learning how to drive."

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