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Clarkson University To Sharpen North Country Teachers' Internet Skills

North Country teachers will soon have the opportunity to upgrade their computer skills thanks to a grant received by Clarkson University.

Clarkson will host workshops on Saturday mornings beginning in October for teachers in St. Lawrence and Franklin County to familiarize them with using the Internet as a research and teaching tool. Clarkson School of Business Professor and Project Director Ronald Chorba said courses will also be available to technical coordinators at area schools to assist them in setting up computer labs and developing sites for the World Wide Web.

In a pilot project last year, 130 teachers from the region learned the basics of the Internet, Web authoring, e-mail, and Windows 95. The courses offered this year will build on those skills and add website design, and multimedia.

Eighteen students will work with Chorba to train the North Country educators. The students, who are management information systems, technical communications, and computer science majors, will receive academic credit for their participation in the project.

Additionally, the grant will allow the students to act at contractors with specific schools customized for staff development programs. The students will provide training on e-mail, word processing, and spread- sheet software. The students will also work to train community residents in those districts using labs set up in the schools.

Ultimately, he said, "this training will be a part of a teacher's education, but presently we're filling a training gap. While schools can get computer equipment, they often have a hard time getting the training necessary to use the equipment."

FIPSE will provide approximately 25% of the costs for the program, while Clarkson will contribute the remaining 75% of the costs.

For more information on the program, schools may call Chorba at 315 268-6435.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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