Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Internet2 and K-12-New Resources and Opportunities

Magazine article Multimedia & Internet@Schools

Internet2 and K-12-New Resources and Opportunities

Article excerpt

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Though it may have gone unnoticed by most K--12 users of Internet2, in the 2 years since the publication of my article, "Internet2, K--12 and Librarians," in the September/October 2006 issue of MultiMedia & Internet@Schools, the available bandwidth for this powerful network has increased dramatically. Now capable of moving along at 100 gigabits per second, Internet2 (I2) provides powerful new potential for the research and education communities to take advantage of an ever-increasing range of options for high-speed applications that change the way students and educators learn and teach.

MUSE: A PROJECT OF THE INTERNET K20 INITIATIVE

According to Carol C. Kuhlthau, Leslie K. Maniotes, and Ann K. Caspari in their book Guided Inquiry: Learning in the 21st Century, one of the primary responsibilities of the school librarian is to provide access to high-quality resources for inquiry " both inside and outside the school." They identify these experts in the local community as "the public library, museums, and other community agencies."

In this regard, one of the most significant developments for Internet2 users in the K--12 community is the creation of a new social networking site, Muse (http://k20.internet2.edu). This resource vastly enlarges and enhances the world of experts available to our students. Muse provides access to others in the national Internet2 community and the international advanced networking community for research and education. In addition to finding other teachers or librarians, Muse surfers can learn about applications that take advantage of the rich resources available over the network that might be of interest to school librarians and to the teachers in their schools. Registered users may share information, develop collaborations, and invite others to participate in their projects.

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The Muse site allows easy location of and communication with other teachers and librarians as well as with subject-area experts in the higher education and research communities, with resource providers from museums, zoos, science and performing arts centers, and with other nonprofits working with the education community. Additionally, the website provides background about Internet2 by interest category and also includes a link that users can use to easily determine whether their school network is connected to Internet2.

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People registering on Muse identify areas of interest by indicating whether they are a member of a school or higher education community, a librarian, a teacher of a specific subject and grade level, a researcher, an information provider, and so forth. Since registered users can generate tags for topics that interest them, it is possible to identify a number of potential areas that might provide useful connectivity with other users.

Additionally, the website allows visitors to see others with related interests who have registered in Muse. Muse users can invite one another to become friends, send public musings to others, or have a private conversation with another member. Since registration information includes the user's home institution and its location, it's possible to search for other registered Muse members in geographically specific areas.

Muse is a rich resource for learning about what others around the globe are doing, planning, and considering with advanced Internet2 technology. Additionally, all projects posted on Muse allow users to subscribe to an RSS feed so that they may receive updates.

RESOURCES FOR INTERNET2 PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The social networking available through Muse provides a place for collaboration and new learning. Additionally, some new and exciting professional development opportunities for Internet2 users have recently become available. Broad overview lessons about how schools may effectively use videoconferencing are still available from the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (www. …

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