The Louisiana Optical Network Initiative, or LONI, is enabling the Louisiana Public Broadcasting group to deliver digital television and interactive educational services to grade schools across the state. The new services, available through the LPB’s Cyperport, can be incorporated into the teachers’ standard lesson plans. Why is this different than before you say? The original satellite-based educational services only allowed classrooms to participate in a one-way fashion. This means no interactive capability. The fibre optic basis for LONI allows teachers and students to interact with one another from across the state, in real time.
It breaks down the walls to the classroom by bringing the world into the classroom,” [Nancy Thompson, former third grade teacher] says. “I think the opportunities are limitless. It’s completely open and accessible.”
LONI is currently made up of a fibre optic network that connects Louisiana research institutions, the Internet, the National Lambda Rail and Internet2. It also connects the state’s sizeable supercomputing systems, the largest of which Queen Bee, sitting in downtown Baton Rouge. Once implemented, the state plans on using LONI for all sorts of content delivery.
We are taking advantage of the latest technology for Louisiana and we’ve had that as our hallmark,” [Beth Courtney, President and CEO of LPB] says. “I see things like LONI and digital technology as new tools to help us to deliver content, but this whole transition is incredibly dramatic because it is the ultimate merging of computers and television and radio and Internet. We are all changing. For those of us making the transition to new technologies, it’s stretching our minds.”
Neat stuff! For more info, read the full article here.