This year, Internet2 is transitioning to a new annual meeting format. The first Internet2 Annual Meeting will convene R&E leaders from institutions around the world in an environment of open engagement, partnership and collaboration. Designed to support advancements in R&E, spur innovation, and accelerate global discovery, this forum will equip community leaders to confront organizational, national, and global challenges in new ways. Register now!
Empowering people to be global education consumers. That's how community anchor institution innovator, Brady Kraft, Director of Technology at Idaho Education Network (IEN), describes what he does for a living. His primary driving force? Working to make sure everyone at the school, district and state levels has true equality of access. His vision for tomorrow's "native digital citizens"—even the rural ones? That they will be free to make education and career choices unbounded by bandwidth availability. IEN connects to the Internet2 Network via Idaho Regional Optical Network (IRON).
The U.S. UCAN Workshop scheduled for October 4, 2012, in Philadelphia, PA, is a working meeting of the U.S. UCAN Pilot Affiliates (representing 14 state and regional networks) that welcomes all interested parties, including representatives from Community Anchor Institutions (CAIs) and their professional organizations. The workshop will address opportunities and issues facing this CAI-focused community of practice and explore how to spur innovation in the delivery of applications and services that use advanced broadband networks to support the missions of CAIs.
Internet2 has named Susannah Spellman Executive Director of the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN). In her new role, Spellman will lead Internet2’s efforts to support the broadband needs of community anchor institutions from around the country. She will oversee the Internet2 K20 initiative and rural health care program, and explore new ways to leverage Internet2’s national research and education network for the benefit of public safety, public media and other public institutions. “Susannah’s experience with the nation’s government and business leaders in broadband service and community anchor institutions will greatly benefit U.S. UCAN,” said Internet2 Vice President John S. Morabito. “In collaboration with regional research and education networks across the country, her leadership will assist anchor institutions in serving their communities with telemedicine, distance learning, and other innovative applications.”
Internet2 has issued a call for 2012 Richard Rose Award Nominees. The annual award, established in 2009, recognizes individual efforts to extend advanced networking benefits to K-20 education community. The award will be presented at the Spring 2012 Internet2 Member Meeting in Arlington, Virginia to be held April 22-25, 2012. Nominations will be accepted until March 26, 2012. For more information, see http://internet2.edu/rose. Rose was the executive director of the University of Maryland Academic Telecommunications System and USM Office IT. Rose (1947–2007) played an early and influential leadership role in Internet2's K20 Initiative, whose mission is to close the digital divide by bringing together Internet2’s advanced network and research university members with innovators from the nation's colleges, primary and secondary schools, libraries, museums and other educational institutions. This partnership extends new technologies, applications and rich, interactive educational content to everyone—no matter where they're located.
U.S. UCAN issued a call for participation in December, 2011, for the pilot phase of a new affiliate program where participating states will designate affiliate organizations who act as primary contact points for local community anchor institutions (CAIs). Approximately five affiliates will be selected for the pilot phase, and will work with U.S. UCAN to define and provide the kinds of support, guidance, direction, and services to be offered to CAIs.
The U.S. UCAN Task Force on Community Anchor Network Economic Models, charged with developing sustainable business models for connecting community anchor institutions to affordable broadband services, has released its final report. The report offers recommendations and proposes several alternative models to help state, regional and national research and education networks address the challenges of providing advanced research and education applications to community anchor institutions across the nation.
Community anchor institution innovator, Michael Richardson, serves students and teachers in and around Houghton, a rural, remote area of Michigan's Upper Peninsula, helping them collaborate more effectively. Michael stretches local education budgets a lot further by providing centralized technology support services, including network and Internet connectivity, security, compliance, reporting and many others. Bandwidth is a constant issue for Michael's users. He welcomes each incremental improvement, hoping to enable new technologies—both their creation and consumption—as new capabilities become a reality. Michael is a Director at Regional Educational Media Center #1, and is connected to the Internet2 Network by Michigan's Merit Network.
Christi Whitworth, Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI) Education Director, is working to put "Smiley," the institute's 4.6m remote access radio telescope, in the hands of as many eager high school and college students as possible. And then there's the Steller Classification Online Public Exploration (SCOPE) project, where the general public can play the role of space-age discoverers and work with the astronomers at the institute's Astronomical Photographic Data Archive (APDA) to explore age-old cosmological questions by observing the heavens for themselves—from wherever they may be. In a world unconstrained by network bandwidth, Whitworth imagines daily meetings with remote students, peer tutoring enhanced with video and data streams, and helping "citizen scientists" of all ages make the connections and find the new experiences required for developing meaningful solutions in a digital world. (Photo by Matt Rose)
Congratulations to the 2011 Richard Rose Award Winner, Randy Stout. Stout is the Research and Development Coordinator for Kan-Ed, where he serves as a program officer for a series of award programs to stimulate use of the Internet2 Network by K-12 and community anchor institutions. Stout has been instrumental in facilitating the development of multiple successful state-wide proposals to bring funding to community anchor institutions that enable their use of the Internet2 Network, and access to advanced applications in the delivery of their services to the public.
Participants at the Spring 2011 Internet2 Member Meeting will have plenty of opportunities to learn the latest about U.S. UCAN. "Discover U.S. UCAN," on Monday, April 18, will provide a brief overview and discussion. A BoF group will hear about the latest work of U.S. UCAN's Task Force on Community Anchor Network Economic Models on April 19, and a BTOP Awardees Workshop on April 20 will address the importance of sharing best practices and identifying challenges.
Ciena and Internet2 have announced a partnership on a 100G national network in support of the U.S. Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project. Internet2 is significantly upgrading its national backbone network through a federal stimulus grant from the NTIA. Through its partnership with Ciena, Internet2 will increase its network’s bandwidth from approximately 100 Gigabits per second to 8.8 Terabits per second to provide the necessary capabilities to connect over 200,000 community anchor institutions nationwide as part of the U.S. UCAN project. The new network will also support the exponential growth in capacity needs by the research and the higher education community that Internet2 serves today.
Congratulations to the Megaconference Jr. planning team for pulling off another great event this year! Megaconference Jr., now in its 8th year, is an international program designed to give K-12 students from around the world the opportunity to collaborate and contribute to each other's learning in real time, using advanced multi-point videoconferencing. Megaconference Jr. addresses local and national curriculum standards in multiple subject areas. It also helps students and teachers develop the capacity to effectively utilize high-speed networks, videoconferencing and other emerging technologies to enhance learning experiences. The Internet2 community are involved in providing high-speed connectivity, videoconferencing facilities, technical support and other services to the K-12 participants.
The U.S. UCAN project has announced the membership of the recently formed Task Force on Community Anchor Network Economic Models. Including representatives from community anchor institution sectors as well as regional and state research and education networks, the Task Force is responsible for developing sustainable economic and business models to connect public libraries, schools, community colleges, public safety, healthcare and other community anchor institutions with advanced broadband capabilities.
Anchor innovator, Kemi Jona, is excited about the promise of Northwestern University's Office of STEM Education Partnerships remote online labs cyberlearning tool, ilabcentral.org. Remote labs allow students to use real experimental equipment located around the world via their web browser. Students who use ilabcentral from home do more trials and have better experimental design than students who use it in class. That's what studies of 1000 students around the country have shown so far, along with some really impressive learning gains. This project shows the power of technology to really transform how, where, and when learning happens. But more online labs need to be built. That's the biggest challenge now.
Anchor innovator, Tom Rolfes, Education Information Technology Manager at Network Nebraska, is a tireless advocate for facilitating high-bandwidth networking at community anchor institutions in Nebraska. He works on statewide technology funding, technology policy and infrastructure development for K-12 and higher education, public and private, encouraging K-12 and higher education to work together to develop shared technology services and to make sure that communities' networking needs are met. What is he passionate about? Encouraging additional community anchor institutions such as public libraries, museums and science centers to join Network Nebraska, collaborate and share their digital and real-time content with K-20 education. The biggest challenge? Getting Network Nebraska participants to "think big" with respect to future applications and uses of the statewide network.
Registration for the Spring Member Meeting is open! As you begin to make your travel arrangements, we want to make sure you are aware of some significant changes to the traditional meeting schedule. Among the changes, Governance meetings will be moved from Monday to Wednesday, track sessions will be held Monday through Wednesday, and the Welcome Reception will move from Monday to Tuesday night. Full details concerning these changes are available at the meeting website.
Mark Johnson has been appointed as Interim Executive Director of the United States Unified Community Anchor Network (U.S. UCAN) project. Johnson brings to the role over 25 years of leadership experience in the management, engineering and operations of Internet technologies. Mark is on short-term assignment from North Carolina's research and education network, MCNC, and will be responsible for strategic business planning as well as community building and engagement for U.S. UCAN.
Planning to attend the upcoming Winter 2011 ESCC/Internet2 Joint Techs? Several travel alerts to be aware of: (1) the lodging block closes Monday, November 29! (2) Flying to GSP can be cost-effective if booked early. (3) Several hands-on and in-depth tutorials are planned for Sunday (one full-day, one half-day, and two 90-minute offerings). (4) And, finally, a tour of the BMW factory/track is planned for Saturday, January 29.
Internet2 CEO Dave Lambert is featured this week in the Chronicle of Higher Education's Tech Therapy podcast, a series which explores the latest developments in technology and their impact on higher education. The interview and discussion centers on Lambert's vision for the future of Internet2 and U.S. UCAN, as well as the leadership role the higher education community has played, and continues to play, as pioneers in networking.
The Call for Participation for the Spring 2011 Internet2 Member Meeting, April 18-20 in Arlington, Virginia, is open! This call invites submissions for Track Session Proposals, Side Meetings, Posters and Sponsors. Deadlines are fast approaching, so submit your proposal soon!