Bell Atlantic Selects Wayne County Schools
for Interactive Distance Learning Pilot
Company Awards $100,000 Grant to Equip Centers at Spring
April 6, 1999
HUNTINGTON, W.Va. -- Two Wayne County high schools will be the
first public schools linked to West Virginia's most sophisticated interactive
distance learning network, thanks to a $100,000-grant from Bell Atlantic -
The funds will be used by the Wayne County public school system to
outfit distance learning centers at Spring Valley and Tolsia High Schools
for a pilot program slated to start next fall. The grant will fund the
purchase of such equipment as television monitors, cameras and
"I'm excited about the possibilities interactive distance learning offer
students and teachers, and I know faculty and administrators in Wayne
County schools share my excitement," said Dennis Bone, president and
CEO of Bell Atlantic - West Virginia. "This new technology is yet
another indication that today's classroom reaches far beyond four walls
and a blackboard."
The distance learning centers will be connected to Bell Atlantic's
sophisticated WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network, which combines fiber-
optic transmission with ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) switching.
ATM consolidates voice, data and video communications on a single
phone line at extremely high speeds, providing greater capacity and
Bell Atlantic, in partnership with the state, began building the $20-million
WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network over a year ago. The network is already
being used for a variety of futuristic applications, including remote court
proceedings. Cabell County was one of the first
users of this "Courtroom of the Future" system.
Distance learning is not new to West Virginia. Schools have been able to
receive instructional classes over satellite links for a number of years.
Unlike the traditional satellite system, however, Bell Atlantic's new
distance learning networks are totally interactive -- visually and verbally.
Students and faculty are able to see one another and communicate
spontaneously over the network. Teachers can call on students who raise
their hands, much the same as they would in a natural classroom setting.
In addition, teachers can use aids such as videotapes and graphics over the
Bell Atlantic chose Wayne County for the pilot program in response to the
strong interest expressed by that county's school system in equipping its
two high schools for distance learning. Spring Valley and Tolsia High
Schools plan to link with distance learning centers at Marshall University
via the WEST VIRGINIA 2001 network. No decision has been made on
which classes will be offered over the system.
Bell Atlantic is at the forefront of the new communications and
information industry. With more than 42 million telephone access lines
and 8.6 million wireless customers worldwide, Bell Atlantic companies
are premier providers of advanced wireline voice and data services, market
leaders in wireless services and the world's largest publishers of directory
information. Bell Atlantic companies are also among the world's largest
investors in high-growth global communications markets, with operations
and investments in 23 countries.