Calif. District Is Honored for Microwave Network

The Desert Sands Unified School District in Indio, Calif., has been nominated to receive a national award for its design and implementation of a computer network that serves 23 schools and 20,000 people.

George Fisher, chairman of Eastman Kodak Co., nominated the district for the Education and Academia category in this yearís Computerworld Smithsonian Awards Program (CWSA), which identifies examples of technological innovation that promote positive social, economic and educational change. Winners will be announced at a special ceremony in June.

Desert Sandsí network utilizes microwave technology, allowing for the high-speed transfer of computer, audio/video and voice data. Students and staff at every site can access the Internet at 10 Mbps, greatly reducing the time it takes to download pages from the Web. In addition, staff can access a Kodak imaging center, Meridian CD towers and various administrative applications.

Once network installation began, instructors received comprehensive training on how to troubleshoot IBM-compatible PCs and prepare multimedia presentations. Every classroom in the district has at least one computer connected to the network. Soon, parents will be able to log on to the intranet to check student assignments and grades.

Material describing the project can be found on Smithsonianís Web site (http://innovate.si.edu). Desert Sands Unified School District, Indio, CA, (619) 775-3500

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This article originally appeared in the 05/01/1997 issue of THE Journal.

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