Computers in classroom good, but just beginning

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 12, 2001

Kudos to Gov. Ronnie Musgrove and the private donors who have raised more than two-thirds of the money needed to put a computer in every classroom in Mississippi.

Their mission is an important one, and bringing in private money is certainly a relief to the already emaciated state budget.

In a Wednesday press conference intended to keep support running high for the project, Musgrove said more than 6,300 new computers will boot up in classrooms this year with about 6,000 more the following year.

Email newsletter signup

More than $4 million of the $6 million needed has been acquired.

That’s impressive and it has the potential to make a difference in the lives of our children. And having an Internet-connected computer in our classrooms is long overdue.

Now the state needs to make training our teachers a priority. Having a computer in the classroom won’t do our school children a bit of good if their teachers don’t use them or don’t know how to use them.

Mississippi must work to make the absolute best of the technology we have. And that starts by making sure all teachers are properly trained in the use and instruction of basic computer technology.

Once upon a time, as the old saying goes, little Johnny just needed to know how to read, write and do arithmetic.

Now he needs to know all of those skills and be familiar with the Web, e-mail, FTP and TCP/IP – along with about a dozen other acronyms most of us never heard uttered during our school years.

Mississippi is on the edge of the high-tech plateau. And the journey ahead is a long one indeed.