"Technology is a wonderful word and is our best friend in school," said Hao Pham, a 14-year-old "techspert" -- a technologically advanced student at King Middle School in Atlanta. Pham spoke at an Atlanta conference focused on the revolutionary effects of technology on education and the importance of providing access to all students. Pham -- one of three "techsperts" who received Spectronics laptop computers as a special surprise -- discussed how the technology helps her keep in contact with her family in Viet Nam.

During the conference, Oracle made its first donation of network computers to King Middle School as part of the company's $100 million pledge to provide network computer access to America's children, and in support of "America's Promise," a nonprofit organization chaired by Colin Powell to help ensure that all youths have access to the fundamental resources to help them lead healthy, fulfilling and productive lives.

Helping to present the new computers were Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell, FCC Chairman William Kennard and Atlanta School Board President Dr. Norman Johnson.

Captions, L to R/top to bottom: Mayor Bill Campbell and FCC Chairman William Kennard check out the new computers donated to King Middle School. Kennard encourages other corporations to join Oracle in ensuring the Information Age is accessible to everyone. King Middle School Principal Carolyn Huff and Atlanta School Board President at Large Dr. Norman Johnson join Kennard and Mayor Campbell. Jay Nussbaum, senior vice president, Oracle Corp. Students demonstrate Internet navigation to Nussbaum and Johnson. Johnson. Dr. LaMarian Hayes-Wallace, assistant superintendent of technology for Atlanta city schools, speaks. Kennard, Campbell with "techspert" Hao Pham (top left). Same as previous photo.

Land Transportation Security Technology

In April, international, federal, state and local law enforcement, emergency services and transportation officials met for the first time at the International Land Transportation Security Technology Conference in Atlanta. The event, hosted by the U.S. Department of Justice and Government Technology, was a result of Attorney General Janet Reno's plan to improve land transportation security, with a focus on technology trends and anti-terrorism strategies.

Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater encouraged attendees to support safer mass transit. The Atlanta Metro Medical Strike Team demonstrated a chemical decontamination drill while international attendees were impressed by the Alert vehicle -- a police van equipped with an onboard computer and touchscreen controller that is used for first-response applications such as emergency medical services.

Speakers included Major Jonathan S. Gordon, Olympic Planning and Operations, Atlanta Police Department; Brian R. Coleman, director, United Kingdom's Police Scientific Development Branch; Dick Gannon, director of operations, Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism; and William Harris, commissioner, U.S. President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection.

L to R/top to bottom Brian R. Coleman, director, Police Scientific Development Branch, England. James David Ballard, assistant professor, School of Criminal Justice, Grand Valley State University, Michigan. Dick Gannon, director of operations, Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism, and Paul J. Pluta, director, Office of Intelligence and Security, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Dept. of Transportation. Michael Aymeric, director for railways, Department of Transport, Paris, France. William Harris, commissioner, U.S. President's Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection. Nick Cartwright, manager, Canadian Police Research Center, Ontario, Canada, and David Boyd, director, Office of Science and Technology, National Institute of Justice. 1 U.S. Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater. Major Jonathan S. Gordon, Olympic Planning and Operations, Atlanta Police Dept.