West Virginia Educators Explore Potential of Internet at Symposium

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West Virginia Educators Explore Potential of Internet at

Nearly 600 at Charleston Conference Learn Ways to
Integrate Technology into Classrooms

October 12, 1996

Media contacts:

Harry Mitchell (304-344-7562)

CHARLESTON, W.Va. - Like Columbus more than 500 years
ago, West
Virginia educators are charting a course for the new world of teaching
and learning with advanced technology. Nearly 600 teachers and
administrators from throughout the state shared experiences and
learned innovative ways to integrate technology into the classroom at
a symposium entitled Bringing the Internet into Your Classroom: A
Atlantic® WORLD SCHOOLsm Technical
and Educational Symposium
. The
two-and-a-half-day symposium concluded today [Oct. 12] at the
University of Charleston.

The symposium, hosted by Bell Atlantic-West Virginia, the West
Virginia Computer Using Educators [WVCUE] and the West Virginia
Department of Education, brought together educators ranging from
computer novices to smooth Internet "surfers." The attendees
participated in a number of interactive workshops and panel
discussions on the Internet and other multimedia resources. In
addition, several speakers emphasized the importance of technology in
preparing today's students for tomorrow's workplace.

"West Virginia is a role model for the nation in how to use
in education," said Linda Roberts, director of technology for the
Department of Education. Roberts also emphasized that success
involves more than just technology. "Technology by itself is not
what's important. Content and applications are important. As we
watched the multimedia presentation [by a group of George Washington
High School students] earlier, it was clear that this isn't about
technology alone; it's about what we do with technology to make
education happen."

Gov. Gaston Caperton, nationally recognized as a champion of
integrating technology in education, praised the attendees for their
foresight and noted the benefits that the state's forward-looking
position will bring. "West Virginia's use of technology in the
classroom will give our children an advantage in tomorrow's workplace.
It also will give our state an advantage in competing in the global

West Virginia has come a long way in connecting its schools to the
Internet. "Less than three years ago, only one West Virginia school
had direct Internet access with more than a basic telephone modem,"
said Dennis Bone, Bell
Atlantic-West Virginia president and CEO.
"Today, more than 350 schools - over half the schools in our service
area - have digital, high-speed links to the 'Net through the Bell
Atlantic WORLD SCHOOL program. And we're connecting additional
schools at the rate of about one a day."

Other speakers included Margaret Riel, who shared her insights on the
use of interactive technology in schools; Dan Buettner, who described
the MayaQuest program, which taps the Internet to help students
develop their critical thinking skills and learn in innovative ways
about subjects from math to history; and Bob Pawloski, who presented
information on ThinkQuest, an annual contest for students to use the
Internet as a collaborative teaching and learning tool and earn awards
totaling more than $1 million.

Symposium participants also attended workshops led by state educators,
administrators and other presenters on a wide variety of topics, from
how to create collaborative classrooms to a panel discussion on how to
introduce classrooms to the Internet.

Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE:
is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.


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