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Lotus Project Goes to the Dogs

IBM, Lotus Development Corp. and Connectria have joined forces to allow the Arctic Blast 2001 dog sled expedition team to remotely communicate with teachers and students and collaborate with classrooms throughout North America.

Through the Arctic Blast program, a two-person team will utilize the technology throughout their 2,500-mile trek to the northernmost village in North America. During the expedition, students will be engaged in Lotus Sametime Moderated Chats, developed by Lotus Professional Services, allowing them to have real-time dialogue with the explorers regarding their Arctic experiences.

Additionally, 'study circles' using Lotus QuickPlace will create an interactive collaborative environment for students and teachers to communicate and exchange ideas in hands-on multi-disciplinary projects. During this four-month adventure, NOMADS Adventure and Education explorers, Paul Pregont and Mille Pregont Porsild, will use IBM ThinkPad computers to access the Lotus Sametime and QuickPlace hosted environment via a satellite Internet connection.

"As showcased through the Arctic Blast program, Lotus QuickPlace and Sametime are designed to meet the needs of any team – traditional or nontraditional – by providing adaptable shared workspaces that complement existing infrastructure to provide an instant collaboration zone," said Oliver Chow, vice president of corporate strategy and ASP initiatives, Lotus Development Corp.

Connectria, a Lotus Rising Star Beacon Award Winner, developed the infrastructure and is hosting the software through its secure server so participants can remotely track and collaborate with fellow schools and the dog sled team as they make their trip from Churchill, Manitoba, travelling through the new Nunavut Territory of Canada, to Grise Fiord via the Magnetic North Pole.

"Connectria developed, engineered and launched this Web site in just weeks," said Richard Truex, vice president of messaging and collaboration, Connectria. "We move fast. I believe organizations will increasingly opt for outsourcing these types of services to managed service providers who have extensive capabilities in problem solving and a proven track record of implementing innovative, collaborative and messaging technologies, such as Lotus Sametime and QuickPlace."

NOMADS Adventure and Education is a Minnesota-based company who use the allure of sled dogs and the magic of arctic travel to promote learning. NOMADS created the content for the Arctic Blast 2001 Web site including a 16-week nationally accredited curriculum package.

"By using Lotus Sametime and QuickPlace, we are able to achieve a level of collaboration we had only previously imagined inside of the collaboration zone," said explorer Mille Pregont Porsild, co-founder of NOMADS Adventure & Education. "We hope this voyage encourages other educators to consider how communication and collaboration through technology can revolutionize the educational process."