As Gutenberg’s printing press changed the learning process forever, we are at a similar crossroad weighing how best to use the virtual presence capability of the Internet, while respecting proven legacy teaching models. Many new facilities are being designed and constructed for a 40 to 100 year lifespan, with little certainty that they will adapt to meet the needs of rapidly evolving curricula and teaching tools.
The need to reach out and connect to other schools, libraries, universities, and other resources on the Internet has made the need for information technology in the classroom a common denominator for all learning environments. In addition, information technology has become an important tool for classroom teachers, transforming education in all grades. In fact, it is now a necessity for all students to acquire skills in the use of information technology to participate in today’s world
Situations where our expertise can bring you success:
- Perhaps you are on the local Board of Education and the town has finally gotten approval to build a Magnet School to accommodate a growing need and population. Your building committee is working on the requirements for the bids to architect the addition when they ask you what are the requirements for information technology for the new school. These requirements include space for the school library and laboratories, recognizing that IT capabilities can drive down the space required for these functions over time. We have co-authored a book on how to plan technology in Magnet and Charter schools. We have experience in planning and implementing information technology that meets all of the above needs with a comprehensive infrastructure approach.
- Now that your schools have been “wired” to the Internet in some way, has the experience of connecting to outside resources affected the curriculum? Is the network secure and are you certain it is being used appropriately? Can you take advantage of funding opportunities such as e-rate to improve classroom IT to meet the current requirement? Are your schools also wired to local government systems, for learning or administrative purposes? Are there local industries willing to open their research environment electronically to schools? Our experience with the Connecticut Education Network design and implementation can benefit you. The CEN backbone will link 140 public K-12 districts serving 1150 schools, over 400 libraries, and 55 campuses of public and private higher education.
- If you are in the process of upgrading the infrastructure of your campus and want to make certain the best technology such as optical fiber is used well, we can assure your community invests prudently. You may also want to consider providing secure remote connections for your students and teachers when off-campus or at home; we can help you evaluate and quantify such options.
- Do you recognize a need to collaborate with peer institutions to gain more connectivity capacity and reliability, to share proprietary resources in a controlled way the traditional Internet discourages? We can assist your planning and implementation efforts.
- Given the role of school facilities during public disasters, you may want to prepare plans requiring shared network and computing resources with municipal governments, public health officials, and state or federal agencies such as Homeland Security. Our experience coordinating such activities will assure your schools are prepared.