GC EduNET Project
Proposal Number Fifteen – 1992
I am including the text of the EDUCOM survey we sent to John Clement last February. Updated portions are between double angle brackets <<like this>>. I hope that this is what you were inviting. If not, just let me know and I’ll try to rustle it up for you.
1. Is your institution working with any local or regional K-12 organization, local school or school district on programs that involve networking, especially using the Internet?
If so, please attach a description of the program and give us the names, postal and E-mail addresses and telephone numbers for faculty and school contacts.
Attached please find copies of our latest newsletter and an article about the GC EduNET project that appeared in a recent issue of Educational Technology. In essence, these documents point out that GC EduNET works with everyone in the Georgia K-12 Education Community. Thus, we serve information providers such as the Georgia Department of Education, Turner Educational Services, and the Regional Educational Service Agencies (RESAs) distributed throughout the state as well as information consumers who may be individual classroom teachers, local school systems, private schools or parents.
Since the membership of GC EduNET is over three thousand, it would be impractical to provide a printed list. However, we would be happy to provide a tab-delimited ASCII file on media of your choosing. Data in this form is importable into most data bases and thus would be a more practical way to contact all or a subset of our membership via a mail-merge routine and “snail-mail”. At present there are no E-mail addresses for GC EduNET members because a mail system for PeachNet, the University System of Georgia computer network, has not yet been adopted. The adoption of a mail system is in process and the GC EduNET project will begin developing gateways to it for the K-12 education community in Georgia as soon as its specifications are known. <<This has since come to pass. We use the POP-3 protocol and GC EduNET is in the process of extending its current dialup interface to enable Internet mail in addition to our own local mail. Thus, it will be possible for persons with no direct Internet access to send Internet mail.>> In the meantime, an excellent internal E-mail system is available to all members. Please let us know what your needs are in this area and we will try to accommodate them as best we can.
As for formal arrangements with school systems and other education entities, we have none. GC EduNET is an open system accessible to all who have an interest in education in our state. As a “well-known resource” on PeachNet, GC EduNET can be logged-on to from anywhere one has direct or dial-up access to the internet. Additionally, GC EduNET can be accessed directly by modems located at the host site, Georgia College in Milledgeville.
2. Does your university have a School of Education?
If so, is the School working with any local school or school district on programs that involve telecommunications? Who would be an appropriate contact in your School of Education?
As explained in the response to question number one, the GC EduNET project works with all who are interested in K-12 education throughout Georgia. The School of Education at Georgia College provides the hardware, software, personnel, and the site for the GC EduNET system. This is done primarily through Special Initiative Funding provided by the Board of Regents of the University System of Georgia. Additional, supplementary, funding has come from the BellSouth Foundation, GTE, and others. Supplementary funding is constantly being sought.
The person to contact is:
Dr. Frank Lowney, System Administrator The GC EduNET Project Georgia College School of Education Milledgeville, GA 31061 Voice: (912) 453-4546 Internet: email@example.com Telnet (to GC EduNET with: GCEDUNET.PEACHNET.EDU) Gopher pointer:8GC EduNET gcedunet.peachnet.edu
3. Do you extend your campus network to local or regional schools or provide network connections for any regional K-12 organization or local school district?
Yes, in part. The GC EduNET system resides on the School of Education local area network. A number of CPUs on that LAN are dedicated to GC EduNET operations and are accessible via PeachNet and the Internet. It is our intention to eventually provide the K-12 community in Georgia with information culled from a wide variety of sources available via the internet and to do this using an interface that is both consistent and easy to use for K-12 educators at all levels of computer expertise.
If so, please attach a description of the program. We are particularly interested in protocols and architecture, and in what sorts of resources (equipment, circuits, and personnel) you have dedicated to make this possible.
The School of Education (SOE) LAN (where the GC EduNET system resides) utilizes an AppleTalk (v.3.0) network and protocols. The SOE LAN is connected to the building level EtherNet backbone via a GatorBox . The campus LAN is fiber optic and this is connected to PeachNet’s dataline (currently 56 KB). PeachNet uses TCP/IP protocols and is connected to other state, regional, national and international networks via the Internet.
Members of the K-12 education community in Georgia may access PeachNet (and the Internet) by using a modem-equipped computer to dial-up the PeachNet node nearest their location. Since all 34 institutions in the University System of Georgia have from one to ten 1200 baud modems dedicated to providing such dial-up access, most K-12 educators are able to achieve toll-free access to GC EduNET. Future plans call for faster (9600 baud) modems and more PeachNet node sites so that fast, local, toll-free access can be made available to the entire population of the state.
The GC EduNET system itself uses Macintosh hardware and HyperCard software that has been (and continues to be) developed in-house. In particular, a number of Macintosh CPUs and a separate file server are dedicated to the GC EduNET system. Each of these CPUs are assigned either a dial-up modem connected to an INWATS line or one of several ports on a terminal server connected to the site-level EtherNet backbone. In other words, external access is not mediated by AppleTalk protocols at all, instead, this is accomplished in hardware with the terminal server or in software with HyperCard. All of these CPUs, however, are also connected to the AppleTalk file server where the GC EduNET information base is located. Thus, internal access to data on behalf of external clients (GC EduNET members) is mediated by AppleTalk 3.0 protocols and, therefore, can take full advantage of all Macintosh System 7.0 capabilities, most importantly AppleEvents, DAL, and IAC. <<We are looking into using the Gopher concept to “point” to distant information bases as well as our own local information base. This will greatly expand our total offering to the K-12 community in Georgia without proportionally greater expense.>>
While hardware and software are interesting and important, no ingredient of an educational information service such as GC EduNET is more important than “wetware”. Wetware is a reference to the human brain (which is, in fact, quite wet). It is the intellect and dedication of the personnel who cultivate the information base and configure the way that the system interacts with its clients that determines whether such a system will serve a useful purpose or not. Currently, the GC EduNET system is operated with the following personnel components:
- A System Administrator who makes overall policy decisions, seeks external funding, facilitates the acquisition of the appropriate resources (hardware, software and wetware), and seeks to elicit the involvement of both information providers and information consumers.
- A System Manager who, with the help of an assistant system manager, strives to achieve the goal of smooth, intuitive, consistent, uninterrupted, and increasingly valuable service to the membership.
- An Assistant System Manager who assists both the System Manager and the System Administrator to achieve their goals. The assistant system manager supervises five graduate assistants.
- Five Graduate Assistants who are involved in data acquisition, entry and revision, programming, providing voice-line, on-line and on-site support to the membership and other duties as assigned.
- A System Programmer who implements new features and revises extant capabilities in the GC EduNET System software. (currently unfilled pending availability of supplementary funding)
- Three Editors who review submissions (lesson plans, curriculum materials, etc.) by the membership and recommend publication and/or compensation. (currently unfilled pending availability of supplementary funding)
- Four File Exchange Librarians who acquire and make available CPU and application-specific files of interest to educators (i.e. HyperMedia tutorial, Spreadsheet to calculate grades, etc.) for download. (currently unfilled pending availability of supplementary funding)
4. Do you give remote-access guest accounts on institutional computers?
No. However, dial-up access to PeachNet is currently unrestricted, therefore, one can move about the internet unfettered except by lack of access codes to closed systems or knowledge of open systems. PeachNet officials are considering the implementation of a “guest” status for those not demonstrably associated with the university system. Guest status would limit access to GC EduNET and other resources of interest to the non-university population. For selected information providers the priviledge of AppleTalk-mediated remote access to the GC EduNET file server is made available. Such persons generally have access only to folders containing files belonging to that information provider. Selected GC EduNET staff have remote “superuser” status.
If so, do they provide access to the Internet and/or Bitnet?
<<These dialups currently permit telnet access to any system on the Internet that is “open” or for which they have the appropriate passwords, etc. E-mail, FTP, ListServe subscriptions are not directly accessible. By providing Internet e-mail and Gopher client interfaces to dialup users, GC EduNET will provide these services.>>
Who is the contact person responsible for giving and managing these accounts?
Do you provide hardware?
In the first phase of GC EduNET’s development, approximately one-hundred 2400 baud modems were made available on long-term loan to schools located within 50 miles of the host site.
Do you provide software?
In the first phase of GC EduNET’s development, commercial-grade telecommunications software was made available on long-term loan to schools located within 50 miles of the host site. Future plans for the development of multi-platform, GUI-based telecommunications software that is specific to the GC EduNET System (after America OnLine) have been developed and funding is being sought to support that effort.
What costs are involved?
Access to GC EduNET does not involve membership fees, connect time fees or premium information access fees as commercial information systems do. The combined effect of toll-free local access via PeachNet and the use of INWATs lines eliminate long distance charges as well. In short, we have striven to reduce costs to the Georgia K-12 education community to the absolute minimum.
1. If you do any of the activities mentioned in part I, is there a policy about educator or student use?
No, none other than the informal etiquette that has long served the computer using community.
If so, please attach.
2. If you are not currently involved in any of the activities in part I, would you like to do some of these things?
Which ones? What has kept this from happening? What would you need to get started?
**************************************************************************** firstname.lastname@example.org (Frank Lowney), Director The Regional Teacher Education Center at Georgia College 231 W. Hancock St., Milledgeville, GA (912) 453-5121 AppleLink: GCEDUNET / GC EduNET: GCEDUNET.PEACHNET.EDU ****************************************************************************