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Students and staff get personal e-mail


Writing a weekly letter home has become much simpler for students at Woodstock School. With the microwave link to Dehradun up and running, students and staff have gotten access to the Internet. More than 600 users can log in to a hundred systems. Any user who logs on to any system on the network can access personal files and his or her mailbox.

The administration has set up guidelines for use based on appropriate, efficient, ethical and legal use of the network. The guidelines have been sent to parents and guardians and their signed permission is required before students are granted access.

If students want to surf the web, they come to the high school library where four computers with colour monitors provide continuous Internet research from 7:30 AM to 6:30 PM. During the day students are allowed to access the web for academic research. Juniors and seniors can look up and get more information about colleges.

Students can read local and regional newspapers or follow sports teams before and after school. A few students have created their own web pages. Some faculty members have created folders and bookmarked items for students to come and look at as class assignments, like the art folder for a particular style of Japanese pottery. Students were asked to examine that folder and respond to questions posed by the teacher.

" We've only begun to use the potential of the Internet," says Dick Wechter, who is in charge of the computer lab at the high school library. He is busy assisting a group of 10th grade students who are participating in the Junior Summit on the web with 1000 students from around the world.p> A look at the bookmarked sites yields Reuters, NBC, Nepal - tourist information and newspapers, UN 1998 - Human Development Report, the Junior Summit, Australia - where students look up the stock exchange, newspapers. There is a German site. One for currency exchanges, global and Indian college and university sites.

The most popular one however, is the weather site. During the monsoons students and staff make frequent trips to Mr. Wechter's computer to pore over weather maps.

Setting up the network has not [++Page 6] been easy. The batteries of the server would run down every time the electricity went. The information services department has recently been able to get a battery back up system for the server. So it hasn't "packed up" for the last three weeks.

"I've had brush fires raging around me," comments Steve Ediger, who heads the Information Services Department.

"There was a lot of pressure to roll this out sooner. I'm glad I waited till we were completely ready. This has meant that the first experience of users has been much more positive."

"At the moment, six persons at a time can access the Internet," he adds. "This is because we have the equivalent of a one and a half lane highway. If we had a three lane highway, it would cost the school five thousand dollars extra a year, an expense the school cannot afford at the moment."

" I'm thrilled at the ways we're moving, but we still have a long way to go," says Dana Crider, who has assisted in the set-up "Steve, Puneet, Lynn and I will certainly be very glad when everything is in place. It has taken

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