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IRVINE : 3 Schools to Get On-Line Services

October 06, 1994|RUSS LOAR

Three schools will soon be chosen to lead the way in the Irvine Unified School District's $10-million plan to link all schools to the information superhighway.

In this unusual competition, the winning schools will be selected for their failings in the area of high technology.

Fluor Daniel and Data General Corp., the two Irvine companies designing a computer network for the school district, are expected to select an elementary, middle and high school by the end of the month. The companies will be seeking out the most low-tech schools for the honor, as a test of what it will take to put an entire district on-line in the Information Age.

"What we're looking to do is find schools that have been a graveyard of computer hardware," said Yvonne Miller, head of new business development for Data General in Irvine.

The schools will be equipped with a "network infrastructure" that includes electronic mail and connections to the Internet and computer databases at universities and libraries, Miller said. The demonstration projects are expected to be up and running by the end of the year.

It is all part of the district's ambitious Foundations for the Future project, which has attracted large contributions from the Irvine Co., Pacific Bell, Dimension Cable and others.

Foundation campaign director Bob Lazzarini told school board members Tuesday night that the Massachusetts Institute of Technology considers the project a national model for the integration of technology into schools.

"Students will be using technology as an information tool, rather than using technology as just an end in itself," Lazzarini said.

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