On to the Cyber Classroom

COMPUTERS in the classroom are nothing new, but computers as fully functioning education tools in every classroom - that's still over the horizon. Hence the usefulness of President Clinton's restated goal of having every public classroom connected to the information superhighway by the year 2000.

Few things will be more basic for the next generation of workers than fluency with computers, and with communicating through computers.

How are we doing? Some 44 states are pushing ahead with education technology plans under the federal Goals 2000 program. Many districts, particularly those blessed with high-tech industry in the neighborhood, are giving students a genuine leg up into cyberspace. At the same time, at-risk students can find in the technology a reason to stay in school.

The effective use of computers in education is far from universal. But political backing, business participation, cheaper cyberspace vehicles, and enthusiastic students, teachers, and parents could yet combine to make the president's goal reachable.

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