Access denied at new Frederick Douglass computer lab?
Gov. O'Malley, Mayor Dixon, Dr. Grasmick and Dr. Alonso were all on hand Monday afternoon to celebrate the official opening of a new $25,000 computer lab funded by Verizon at Frederick Douglass High School.
But according to this post by a Douglass teacher on The Challenge to Care in Charm City blog, neither students nor teachers have access to the lab, and they don't know when the situation will change.
"Now, don't get me wrong," the post says, "the new computer lab that has been donated to our school is gorgeous, and I am extremely grateful to Verizon and to those who worked tirelessly to solicit the donations and to assemble the finished product. However, it was disheartening for me and for my students when we were told that we were not allowed to actually use the lab. My ninth-graders had written outstanding research papers, and it was very frustrating for them when I told them that they would not be able to type them, even when the technology was clearly in place. Currently, neither students nor teachers are allowed to use the lab, and nobody will respond to inquiries regarding when or if this policy will change."
I'll let you know if someone responds to me. I've e-mailed the principal as well as officials from Verizon and the governor's office. So far I've heard back only from the Verizon spokeswoman, who said she doesn't know anything about this.
The teacher goes on to describe some school activities that are worthy of fanfare, such as a production last week of Live Blacks in Wax, where students portrayed historical characters.
"It was a true community effort, and it passed unnoticed by the people who have been so critical of our school. I would like to see less focus on the glitzy technology and more focus on what really matters-- the awesome things students are doing here every day."
The photo above was taken by Sun photographer Liz Malby.
UPDATE: Here is an e-mail from Principal Clark Montgomery, who says that teachers need to be trained to use the technology in the new lab and follow sign-up protocol. Other labs are available in the building.