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Public School Teachers Are Not Computer-Phobic

December 17, 1995

I have already written to Gary Chapman about his pompous article ("Are Schools Ready for the Net," Nov. 9), but I would also like you to know how many of us public school teachers feel about cliche attitudes.

Many teachers are quite familiar with computers, many of us have used them for years, many of us have never--or seldom--seen a student who actually knew more than we do about computers (some know a great deal, but nothing tremendous beyond what teachers know or can easily find out). This image of public school teachers as old-fashioned, computer-phobic and completely outclassed by our students has got to stop. It's wrong, it's silly, it's annoying.

There are plenty of districts (including my own) that are excelling at gathering modern technology into the classroom and using it with students. When you consider the limited resources the American public is willing to spend on educating its children, it is amazing what we are able to do. Just check out the Web, under Yahoo's listings for education. Stop selling us short and start getting into classrooms.

This isn't 1975 anymore, and we are not hiding our heads in the ground. A little support would be appreciated; mindless carping is not!

HEATHER SMITH

Fountain Valley

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