Magazine article Information Today

Ameritech Learning Initiative to Help Students, Teachers, and Workers

Magazine article Information Today

Ameritech Learning Initiative to Help Students, Teachers, and Workers

Article excerpt

The University of Michigan (U-M) has announced the Ameritech Learning Initiative, a project designed to give students, teachers, and workers a road map for navigating through the information technology tangle. The project will be funded over the next 5 years with a $1.5 million grant from Ameritech.

Jose-Marie Griffiths, chief information officer for the U-M and a professor in the School of Information, is enthusiastic about the project. "This grant will extend the University's resources to others around the state, the nation, and the world," said Griffiths. "Information technology has broken down the barriers of time and space that used to separate people from each other and from all kinds of information resources. People are now able to work together in ways only imagined a few years ago. But we need to provide people with tools and methods to make good use of these new connections. That's what this work is all about-developing tools that will help people and organizations tap into the amazing resources of the information revolution, especially in the area of collaboration."

The focus of the Ameritech Learning Initiative is on "real people who have real work that they want to achieve," said Katherine Willis, director of program development for the School of Information. The idea is not only to give people access to information technology tools and services, but also to help them learn how to combine those tools in the most useful and effective ways.

"This effort will provide expert guidance in information technology to teachers and business people, and we're proud to sponsor such a valuable resource," said Robert Cooper, president of Ameritech Michigan. "Partnering with the University of Michigan to extend the resources of the Ameritech Learning Initiative to people at home, at work, and at school is truly exciting." The project is in keeping with Ameritech's tradition of community service, said Cooper. Last year, the company contributed more than $26 million to more than 3,800 nonprofit organizations, and Ameritech Pioneers-some 46,000 employees and retirees throughout the Midwest-volunteered 419,000 hours of community service.

Through a number of collaboratory projects over the past 8 years, U-M School of Information faculty and staff have demonstrated expertise in offering such guidance. …

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