Washington State is one of five states recently selected to be a pioneer in developing and bringing the next generation of Internet materials, applications, and tools to K-12 schools and colleges.
The Washington K-20 Education Network will soon have direct access to the Internet2 (I2), the high-performance, next generation Internet (called “Abilene”). In fact, seattle.internet.com has learned that the direct access might go live within a matter of 30 days.
So what does this really mean?
Classroom teachers will soon have access to the latest tools for developing, organizing, and bringing into the classroom customized Web-based learning materials and multi-media content from such organizations as the Smithsonian Institution and NASA.
Schools will also have the ability to cost-effectively employ high-quality interactive and streamed video among teachers and across the state’s classrooms.
Internet2 will also allow broad K-12 access to the new “Virtual UW in the High School Program”, which provides UW college-level credit classes to students in high schools throughout the state.
“Not only will this development put the teachers, students and schools of Washington State at the forefront in using the educational tools that are currently available, it will put them in the position of helping to build the next generation of Internet content and tools,” says Louis Fox, UW vice provost for Educational Partnerships and Learning Technologies.
Fox and his colleages at the UW are no strangers to the K-20 education network and Internet2.
The University of Washington has been playing a significant role in bringing Internet2 capabilities to the region, and also has been a key partner in the development of the K-20 network. The UW, in fact, serves as the Internet Service Provider and Internet engineering group for Washington’s K-20 network.
“The UW and Pacific Northwest Gigapop group designed, built, operate, and are the actual physical and logical hub of the K20 network, and we designed it with I2 architecture and capability built-in,” says Fox.
According to Fox, all that is left to be done is finalize some paperwork and update routing tables and the K-20 Network will instantly be part of the Internet2 fabric.