Northwest NEWS

March 22, 1999

Editorial

Computer technology is here to stay

   I plan to vote on the Monroe School District's April 27 technology levy. And here's why.

   Computer technology is here to stay. Even if you don't know what all the Y2K fuss is about, it's been made pretty clear that computer technology is an integral part of our daily lives, affecting areas such as retailing, banking, and transportation (to name just a few). Statistics abound about the increasing use of computers in existing jobs and the creation of new jobs centered around computers.

   Computer technology and the Internet have made it possible to share information with people around the world. It has removed many barriers to worldwide communication, even for a child. For example, by using the Internet, my third-grader contacted Greek literature experts at universities around the world and sent e-mail questionnaires to them as part of her study of The Odyssey by Homer. She was thrilled to receive answers from researchers in Greece and Australia. The friendliness and helpfulness of these scholars in sharing their knowledge with her has made a lasting impression on her, and it has literally opened the world to her for education.

   As an art docent at Salem Woods, I am able to direct students to Internet websites from Japan to France where they can view works of art online. All literally at the touch of a button. This is a powerful learning and teaching tool!

   The Monroe School District has successfully implemented its first technology levy passed in 1992. They were able to add two computers to many classrooms and to provide Internet access for students. This levy expires and must be replaced by the upcoming one. Successful passing of the levy will allow classrooms to increase their numbers of computers at up to six per room, giving students more computer time, and small work groups can be formed for educational purposes. It makes the computer a viable teaching and learning tool for the classroom.

   I encourage you to pass this important levy which will help ensure that our students are comfortable with computer technology. Whether they will use a computer to do their job in the future or use it to increase their knowledge of the world, we need to see that they are prepared.

Kathryn Garrison, Snohomish