School Districts Considering Expanded Computer Classes

Article excerpt

Byline: Ann Piccininni Daily Herald Correspondent

The digital age is finding its way into middle school classrooms in Glen Ellyn.

As a result, students at Glen Crest Middle School soon might get to choose classes such as aerodynamics, computer networking and problem-solving, broadcasting, graphic art design and robotics.

A committee is studying ways to revamp and expand the traditional home arts and industrial technology programs to include technology education.

Scott Stevens, principal at Glen Crest and part of the 18-member committee, presented the group's preliminary findings to the Glen Ellyn District 89 school board Monday.

Stevens said curriculum offerings from three companies have been studied, and trips to nearby schools in Lisle, Medinah, Bloomingdale and Bensenville have been conducted to watch those curriculum models in action. Trips are planned to schools in Skokie and Merrillville, Ind., where similar programs operate, he said.

Representatives of companies that design computer-based curriculum will present proposals to the Glen Crest committee at an all-day program to be hosted at Glen Crest Jan. 20.

The classes give students "a diverse look at various areas that are not your core academic subjects," Stevens said.

The new programs are called "exploratory" because they encourage students to explore new skills and see how those skills overlap with traditional disciplines such as math, science and social studies, Stevens said. …