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Schools to Get New Computer Standards

October 03, 1998|LINN GROVES

Students building salt and flour reliefs of California may soon give way to students creating colorful computer graphics of the state.

After being given a demonstration of such a project Monday night, the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees approved a preliminary blueprint for technology standards in grades K-8.

Under the new standards, even kindergartners will learn computer basics. Older children will study more advanced software, learn how to gather and manage information, and have links to the Internet.

Middle school children will have access to multimedia software called "The Ancient Civilizations Project," which focuses on the history and culture of an ancient society. The software is the product of more than three years' work by district educators.

Teachers will benefit by having access to more digital and electronic resources.

The cost to the district for training and support--as well as for hardware, software, licenses and maintenance--has yet to be calculated.

Several trustees expressed concern that the state may select textbooks for the district that will not be compatible with the new standards, but they were generally optimistic.

"I'm so happy. I've been saying for years that kids need to use these [electronic] tools," said board Vice President Shelia J. Henness.

The district has been working on the plan since 1988, when it first outlined a strategy to move staff and students "into the Information Age."

The district has aligned its standards with recommendations laid out in a state report titled "Connect, Compute, Compete." A more comprehensive technology framework is scheduled to be brought before the board of trustees Oct. 19.

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