Sometime after the first of the year, the University of Maryland will launch its own television network, beaming live classes to a variety of government agencies and private industries throughout the area. In the planning stages for the last six years, the network will concentrate on postgraduate courses in science and engineering, aimed chiefly at employes who need to update skills.

According to Arnold Seigel, a professor of engineering at the university and director of the network, the university will become one of fewer than a dozen colleges in the nation to offer such televised classroom instruction. Stanford, the University of Michigan and the University of Minnesota are among the others.

Among the organizations expressing interest in the network have been the Central Intelligence Agency, the Department of Energy, the Naval Surface Weapons Center and a number of research and development firms, particularly along the I-270 corridor in Montgomery County.

Televised classes will run between the hours of 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Viewers within a 35-mile radius of College Park will be able to receive them. Cameras and transmitters will record the classroom action, send it to a tower on a campus residence hall, which will microwave it to WDON's tower in Silver Spring. From there, it will be transmitted directly to the subscriber's receiving room.

Subscribers' television sets will be equipped with a special device that will enable them to receive the Maryland telecasts, Seigel said. Their receiving rooms will have radio equipment that will permit them to ask questions directly of the teacher in the College Park classroom.

The cost for participation in the network will be between $10,000 and $30,000, but Seigel notes. "There are a lot of outfits that are already spending more than that on training programs for their employes."

John D.R. Cole, director of the Civil Service Commission Bureau of Personnel Management, has returned to college to teach and do research on a project aimed at finding an "improved system for the measurement and enhancement of the productivity of federal government departments."

Cole will spend two years at Fairfax County's George Mason University where he's also teaching a course on "The Theory and Practice of Public Administration" as a visiting professor in the department of public affairs.

He's there as part of the federal Intergovernmental Mobility Program, which enables state and federal governments to share employes.

Two nine-foot cannons, mounted on special carriages in front of the Healy Building on the Georgetown University campus, may have originally belonged to a Spanish man o'war sunk in the English Channel in 1588, a part of the Spanish Armada, the university now says.

According to university publicists, the recent discovery of a 17th century bill from a used cannon dealer in London to the first Lord Baltimore, the proprietor and colonizer of Maryland, triggered the theory.

The fact had already been well documented that the two Georgetown cannons were aboard the Ark and the Dove, the two ships that brought the original Catholic settlers to Maryland in 1634. But the discovery of the bill to Lord Baltimore for payment for the cannons to outfit the expedition sparked new interest in the weapons, and Georgetown asked the Navy Department to check them out. The conclusion: The cannons were Spanish.

According to historians, the most likely place for a London, used cannon dealer to acquire Spanish cannons in the late 16th or early 17th centuries would have been as salvage from the shipwrecked and captured Spanish Armada.

After landing in St. Mary's County with the Ark and the Dove, the two cannons were taken ashore where they were mounted at Fort St. Inigoe's, protecting St. Mary's City. One of the first Jesuits there wrote that the weapons filled the Indians with ". . . wonder . . . the King of the Patuxent counseled his guests, the Yaocomoco Indians, to be careful that they breaks not the peace with us."

During the 1700s the cannons and the fort were swept away by changing currents in the river, but in 1822 they were recovered in three to four feet of water about 150 feet from shore and set up near the chapel door at St. Inigoe's, a church not far from the river. They were given to Georgetown in 1888 for the school's centennial the next year. In 1898, they were mounted in front of the Healy Building where they have been ever since.