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St. Johns middle school students test new technology course

5:34 AM, Oct 22, 2012   |    comments
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ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. -- About 150 students at Switzerland Point Middle School are shaping the way schools will teach technology in the future.

The students are enrolled in the first ever "Introduction to Information Technology" class at the school.  Switzerland Point is one of just 215 middle schools across the state offering the course this school year.  The class introduces students to basic computer skills including typing, web navigation and design.  

Right now, officials with the Florida Department of Education are reviewing the class and talking to students about the curriculum so they can make any necessary changes before rolling it out to other schools.  

Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart and Career Education Chancellor Rod Duckworth made a stop at Switzerland Point Friday.  Duckworth explained that classes like this could find their way to the elementary school level.

"Technology skills and IT skills are now more foundational for what students need to be successful in whatever career that they go into," Duckworth shared.

The "Intro to IT" class counts as a high school "practical arts credit" and administrators believe it is a great way for students to decide whether they may want to be in one of the district's career academies in high school.  

"You don't normally get to start this until high school and it's going to give us more of an opportunity in life because we'll already be ahead of most people," said Morgan Sanford, an eighth grade student who is taking the class.  

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