New Model for Technology In Schools To Be Unveiled By GTE Communications Corporation and the State of Maryland During Net Weekend '98

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HYATTSVILLE, Md. - Technology in the classroom is taking a giant leap forward at Hyattsville Elementary and Middle Schools in Hyattsville.

GTE Communications Corporation (GTECC) has joined hands with several high technology companies and state and local government agencies to make technology in the classroom a totally wireless experience.

GTECC led the effort by recruiting technology companies to equip a multi-school network offering wireless phone, voice mail, fax, Internet, video and notebook computer services for teachers, students and parents.

The debut of the Hyattsville Wireless Community will be the highlight of the State's Net Weekend '98, Sept. 25 and 26. The statewide event focuses on helping public schools in Maryland establish high-speed Internet connections from multiple access points in schools, as well as provide teachers the knowledge and skills to effectively integrate Internet resources into the curriculum.

"The Hyattsville Wireless Community represents the way education and technology should be--totally integrated, and dedicated to enhancing the education experience our teachers provide to the children of the State of Maryland," said Governor Parris N. Glendening. "This national model also brings parents into the classroom with a 24-hour communications link."

    At Hyattsville Elementary and Middle Schools, teachers will have access to:

  • multimedia notebook computers with CD-ROM to use at school or home. These notebooks will have wireless connections to the Local Area Network (LAN) within
    the school to access the Internet and shared files;

  • wireless telephones to make and receive phone calls from anywhere on the school grounds;

  • personal voice mail boxes that will allow 24-hour communication with parents and school administrators;

  • a school-based electronic fax service to send and receive faxes (such as field trip permission forms, homework assignments and information forms) from parents, students and administrators;

  • a Distance Learning room that links the elementary students with teachers at the middle school for enhanced and accelerated instruction. In the future, the lab will link students with University of Maryland educators and student teachers.

      Administrators will have:

    • a centralized voice processing system to send and receive voice and fax messages to all teachers and parents;

    • a videoconference room for video training, conferences, and meetings.

        Parents will have access to:

      • a personal voice mail box for 24-hour communication with the school and their child's teacher;

      • an electronic fax service that will send printed school information to their home or work fax. Parents can receive lunch menus, event agendas, field trip permission forms, and other school documents.

        "The State of Maryland challenged GTE Communications Corporation to make the vision of the Hyattsville Wireless Community a reality. This is truly a public-private initiative where business has stepped forward to work toward the common good of Maryland's children. GTE Communications Corporation is pleased with the support many other corporate sponsors provided for this project," said Dave Fanning, president of GTECC Strategic Accounts.

          GTECC provided project management expertise and the labor to install the multiple components of the Hyattsville Wireless Community. Other corporate sponsors include:

        • Centigram, who donated a voice mail system equipped with SchoolMemo and FaxMemo software specifically designed for K-12 schools;

        • Cisco, who donated routers to provide Internet connectivity;

        • EduTek Education Solutions, Inc., who provided wireless Local Area Network (LAN) and wireless Wide Area Network (WAN) connections and a Classroom-In-A-Cart unit (equipped with 15 notebook computers);

        • FORE Systems, who donated $25,000 to purchase notebook computers and provided ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode) switches for high speed multimedia wide area networking between the elementary and middle schools;

        • Motorola, who donated multimedia routers for voice/data requirements;

        • NEC, who donated wireless phones as well as video conferencing equipment at both Hyattsville Elementary and Middle Schools;

        • SMART Technologies Inc., who donated two SMART Board white board screens for Internet teaching;

        • Untied Marketing Associates, who donated educational software and is providing software teacher training.

          The Maryland State Department of Education, the Department of Budget & Management, the University of Maryland, and Prince George's County Public Schools assisted in identifying the educational needs to be addressed by the project.

          GTE Corporation is the parent company of GTE Communications Corporation. GTE is one of the world's largest telecommunications companies and a leading provider of integrated telecommunications services. 1997 revenues totaled more than $23 billion. GTE provides local, long distance and wireless telephone service; network monitoring and maintenance service; dial-up Internet access; high-speed data networks; and satellite, cable, and video service.

          # # #

          Editors Note:

          On Friday, September 25, Maryland Governor Parris N. Glendening will kick-off Net Weekend '98 and unveil the Hyattsville Wireless Community. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a lunch for community, state, and business leaders at Hyattsville Elementary School, 5311 43rd Avenue, Hyattsville, Md. Governor Glendening will arrive at approximately 12:30 p.m. Reporters are invited to tour the school's new telecommunications capabilities. Teacher and student demonstrations on how the technology will be used begin at 1:15 p.m.

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