Meeker school starts Web site

Elementary school principal Rich Coulter is using the help of the fifth-grade class to build a Web site that has homework assignments and links for parents and students.

The Web site is one component of the school's Web page that will be available school-wide for classroom use next fall.

Currently, the Web page is accessible to the public and has many of the educational links it will have for students to access starting next year.

The Webs site has links for individual teachers and numerous links to educational magazines such as "National Geographic" or "Discovery Kids." When a student searches the educational links available on the Web site, he or she can read about Black History Month or the importance of oil in the United States economy at a reading and comprehension level suited to an elementary student.

The fifth-grade links include numerous American History sites, such as "Ben Franklin's World" and "Rediscovering Jamestown."

Teacher Kathy Collins said she has an Internet connection in her classroom and uses the site for a variety of educational projects.

Collins said the original Web site was designed by teachers Renay Mobley and Vicky Tate several years ago in a district in-service for designing web pages. She said last year, during another in-service, the site had assignments posted for parents and students and the individual teacher Web pages were developed.

"Basically, my site is for any elementary students who wants to have some fun on the Web," Collins said. She said she updates her site and has students use it in class and at her "Title I Family Nights" with their parents and families.

"I don't think it has been used as much as I would like for it to be, but it is a work in progress," she said.

Although some teachers are using the site and students can log in at home, Coulter said he is looking forward to the site being up and school-wide in the fall.

He said he is working with technology director Blake Mobley to plan safe educationally sound ways for children to explore the Internet.

"When we do dive in, we will set up our safe guards for students," he said.

Learning via the Internet not only introduces students to new technology but gives them the chance to learn more about the impact of current events and explore new scientific discoveries that would not be available from reading textbooks.

"We are excited about our upcoming telecommunication system that will help us launch our Web site," Coulter said. The new telecommunication system will provide the necessary technology requirements for all teachers to access the Web page in their classrooms.

Coulter said because the school had a limited number of computers, using the Web site as a school-wide educational learning tool has not been a consideration until recently.

In addition to a new telecommunications system, the elementary school will receive new and improved computers this summer. Coulter said some of the school's computers are outdated and would not be compatible with the new telecom system.

Collins said the school has published the Web site information in the school newsletter but parents and students are not required to retrieve information from the site.

If people are interested in visiting the site, they can access it through www.meeker.k12.co.us

To reach Jamie Hallman call (970) 871-1810 or e-mail hallmanjamie@hotmail.com.

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