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K-16 Education Data Networks - Case Study

The Center for Rural Education and Economic Development (CREED) at the Southern Virginia Higher Education Center (HEC), Longwood University’s Institute for Teaching through Technology and Innovative Practices (ITTIP), the Southside Virginia Regional Technology Consortium (SVRTC), and the Mid-Atlantic Broadband Coalition (MBC) have developed a pilot project to begin interconnecting Southern Virginia’s educational dots into a new regional high-speed private [extranet] network known as the Southern Virginia Education Network (SVEN). SVEN will result in a unified, scalable, dependable, low cost network interconnecting all public educational resources that will be second to none in the world. It will result in a significant evolutionary shift in the way we provide education in education in South Central Virginia.  SVEN will not only affect the K-20 students of Southern Virginia, it will have a profound economic impact on the entire 540,000 people of South Central Virginia by dramatically increasing broadband last mile capabilities. This will be done by allowing Local Internet Service Providers to provide connectivity to rural businesses/homes using the infrastructure installed by MBC, as their 700-mile broadband network expands.

The purpose of this multi-site pilot project is to demonstrate the value of virtual classrooms within schools with feature-rich activities like high-definition video, audio, and data in real-time collaboration that will dramatically improve staff interaction and development across school divisions and higher education partners. Interaction, collaboration, and the combining of services will dramatically expand services and increase service levels throughout IT departments.  A fiber-optic based network will allow our educators to push the boundaries and showcase what the technology can do.