Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Maryland Middle School Expands Technology through Unique Business Partnership

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

Maryland Middle School Expands Technology through Unique Business Partnership

Article excerpt

Canton Middle School, located just south of Baltimore, Md., has long been recognized as a leader in education innovation. The school now hopes to set some trends in the use of information technology.

Administrators there recently embarked on a major three-year technology expansion project with a local business partner. The project will allow teachers to update curriculum and attendance record immediately. Students will be able to, among other things, dial into electronic encyclopedias to conduct research. And parents will have the opportunity to communicate with instructors through an expanded homework hotline and classroom voice mail.

* Firm Serves Many Roles

Canton Middle School's partner in the project is Data Networks, Inc., a leading educational dealer for manufacturers such as IBM, Dell and Compaq. The Lutherville, Md.-based firm's services include planning, network design, cabling (LAN and WAN), installation, training and support.

The school and the company originally came together when working on the Canton Homework Hotline, which was funded by the Abell Foundation. Under the new agreement, Data Networks serves as a technical consultant, planner, designer and systems integrator of the multiple voice, video and data technologies to be used at the school.

Students, faculty and administrators, led by principal Craig Spilman, will test the implementation of all the new technologies. They will then provide feedback to Data Networks and others, including Johns Hopkins University's Center for Educational Technology, IBM and Computer Curriculum Corp.

The Baltimore City Public Schools' MIS and Instructional Technology departments are providing technical support and guidance.

All involved benefit from the partnership. "We're always using some cutting-edge technology and software," says Dr. Spilman. "[The companies] get a site that is very open to experimentation."

* Voice, Video & Data Services

As part of a long-term technology plan developed by the partners, Canton Middle School was wired with a high-speed "information highway" providing voice, video and data services to each classroom, the media center and all administrative areas.

Computers, telephones and advanced communication systems are now available from nearly any location on campus, including over 60 telephones and 200 computers. …

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