LAGUNA BEACH : Computers to Offer a 'Look' at History

History students can rely on more than their imaginations this year as they try to envision the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s face when he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

With the help of computer technology, those students will soon be able to summon programs that display King's image on screen, speaking as if in a television documentary. They will also be able to read the text of the address or any other important speeches of the era.

"I get the chills just thinking about it," said Wick Lobo, a teacher at Thurston Middle School who also conducts computer classes for the Orange County Department of Education.

New computer equipment will be delivered to the school as a result of a $160,000 investment by the district and its fund-raising group, SchoolPower. Administrators say students at all grade levels will benefit from the addition of 48 new computers districtwide. Included are word-processing, database and spreadsheet programs, much like those found in businesses, Lobo said.

New computer laboratories will be set up with 15 computers each at Thurston and Laguna Beach High School, while older computers from the high school will be used as an additional learning tool at the elementary schools.

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