FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 1996size = +1>
THE ALLEGHENY INTERMEDIATE UNIT AND
INTO THE FUTURE
Introduce Pennsylvania's First K-through-12
Distance Learning System
Pittsburgh -- Four local school districts today took part in a
designed to showcase how the latest telecommunications technology will
enhance the quality and availability of education.
Community leaders witnessed a demonstration of the Allegheny
Intermediate Unit's Learning Community Network, an interactive distance
learning system that links the AIU administrative offices with four AIU
school districts -- Chartiers Valley, East Allegheny, Fox Chapel and
McKeesport. With two-way video and audio connections, the network
allows students to take courses not available in their own schools and
interact with students at the other schools -- without leaving their
A $200,000 grant from Bell Atlantic supported the construction of the
LCN -- the first full-motion, interactive distance learning system for
grades K through 12 in Pennsylvania.
At today's demonstration, classes in food science, English literature,
elementary math and economics were conducted over the network, each
led by a teacher at a different school. Students and teachers were
able to see each other and communicate spontaneously, as if they were
in the same classroom.
The key to the LCN is Bell Atlantic's advanced infrastructure: miles
of fiber-optic cable, digital switching and high-speed data transport
capabilities, all monitored around the clock. Several distance
learning classrooms or locations can be connected at one time.
Taking part in the demonstration from McKeesport Area High School, AIU
Executive Director Dr. Joseph Lagana praised the new technology for
its promise of enhancing student achievement. "The most obvious
advantage is that students will be able to take courses not available
in their own school districts," a factor he said "will help
equity to our overall system of education. Students will learn to
solve problems by sharing ideas and working productively with peers at
A more subtle advantage has to do with using the technology itself,
according to Lagana. "Students working on the LCN will work in a
manner which is becoming more prevalent in the business world every
Bell Atlantic Vice President and General Manager Ollie Bell said
interactive distance learning is a "powerful tool in our efforts to
break through barriers to education. Now, more than ever, our
distance learning service can improve the quality and availability of
education for everyone."
Bell said a good example is that "rural schools unable to offer a
comprehensive language and arts curriculum may do so at a fraction of
the usual expense through interactive distance learning.
"At Bell Atlantic, we believe classrooms need not be defined by a
blackboard, four walls and a door," said Bell. "What we're
today truly is a revolution in education, and Bell Atlantic is proud
to be part of that revolution."
Bell Atlantic Corporation (NYSE: BEL) is at the forefront of the new
communications, entertainment and information industry. In the
mid-Atlantic region, the company is the premier provider of local
telecommunications and advanced services. Globally, it is one of the
largest investors in the high-growth wireless communication
marketplace. Bell Atlantic also owns a substantial interest in
Telecom Corporation of New Zealand and is actively developing
high-growth national and international business opportunities in all
phases of the industry.
for more information, contact:
- Curt Miller, Allegheny Intermediate Unit
Shirley Risoldi, Bell Atlantic