Ultra high-speed broadband access brings learning to a new level
Six Kentucky universities participated in the first-ever statewide Internet2 live event Oct. 27 to showcase this emerging virtual educational tool. The program, which was broadcast live on Kentucky Educational Television (KET), demonstrated how Internet2 may be used in the classroom with two videoconference sessions connecting participants on six different campuses with the Cleveland Museum of Art.
Internet2, a high-broadband, high-performance network specifically designed for education and research, will soon enable K-12 teachers and students to virtually connect with postsecondary institutions in Kentucky and across the world. As part of the Kentucky Education Network initiative funded by the General Assembly in the 2006 legislative session, access to Internet2 will be expanded to all Kentucky K-12 school districts by June 2008.
“The support of the Kentucky Education Network by the General Assembly means Kentucky students and teachers will have access to increased and improved learning resources,” said Tom Layzell, president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. “Internet2 is one strategy of many we are undertaking to increase the seamlessness and accessibility of Kentucky’s education systems.”
The event, called “Unbridling Kentucky: Connections in Education Using Internet2,” took place in the William T. Young Library Auditorium at the University of Kentucky (UK). The University of Louisville (UL), Western Kentucky University (WKU), Eastern Kentucky University, Northern Kentucky University and Morehead State University joined the event on their respective campuses via Internet2 videoconference, making this the first-ever statewide Internet2 live event.
KET carried the events of Internet2 day on digital channel KET6 through a partnership with the Center for Rural Economic Development in Somerset. Schools and other sites that receive KET digital services directly through digital tuners were able to tune directly to KET6 during the live event. Sites that depend on cable systems could view the Internet2 activities on the KET channel normally reserved for coverage of the Kentucky Senate from Frankfort.
Launched in 1996, Internet2 is a nonprofit research and development consortium led by over 200 U.S. universities working with industry and government to develop and deploy advanced network applications and technologies. Kentucky is the 34th state to gain statewide access through the sponsorship of Internet2 members UK and UL.
Internet2 access in K-12 classrooms can bring learning to a new level. For example, using Internet2:
- A science teacher in Fayette County can dissect an anatomical specimen for her class and discuss this virtual dissection with researchers at Murray State University and Stanford University at the same time;
- Math teachers in Jefferson County can interactively participate in professional development workshops conducted live from University of North Texas and WKU without leaving their classrooms; and
- A student in Warren County taking a biology class can operate a microscope located in Lehigh University in real time.
For more information about Internet2 in Kentucky or to view the full agenda for “Unbridling Kentucky: Connections in Education Using Internet2,” visit http://i2.ky.gov.
Kentucky’s postsecondary and adult education system is improving the economic vitality of the commonwealth and the lives of Kentuckians. By raising educational attainment to the national average by 2020, Kentucky will attract higher wage and knowledge-based business and industry and the overall quality of life for Kentuckians will improve with higher incomes, better health, less obesity, more volunteerism, lower crime and public assistance rates and less unemployment.