December 03, 2009
Organizations will explore potential of advanced networks for liberal arts colleges and universities
GEORGETOWN, Texas, Dec. 3 -- The National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE) and Internet2 have signed a letter of agreement for reciprocal membership. The two organizations will collaborate to explore and raise awareness of advanced networking applications for teaching and learning, libraries, performing arts, language instruction, health science, and other areas. The timing is in alignment with Internet2's new membership structure, which creates a category of membership geared towards liberal arts colleges. Joint project work is scheduled to begin in January 2010.
NITLE and Internet2 will work together to identify test cases for applying advanced networking within liberal arts contexts, with an initial focus on the arts and humanities and opportunities for inter-campus teaching.
"This partnership is an investment in exploring the potential of Internet2's high-bandwidth, low-latency network, which has strategic significance for the liberal arts sector," Eric Jansson, director, NITLE Labs, said. "For example, research shows that when certain qualities are achieved in high-definition video-conferencing, you receive an exponential increase in cognitive engagement. At a certain point, virtual collaboration becomes so life-like that the feeling of being present is just there, hence the recent term 'tele-presence.' Such engagement is consistent with liberal arts models of learning through rich interaction and dialogue."
"One of the collective projects the liberal arts sector needs to actively engage is the question of how to build shared resources and services," said Dave Smallen, vice president for information technology at Hamilton College. "Our investigations at Hamilton -- through the New York Six consortium looking at ways to share digital media from our existing library collections, and through a Teagle grant to investigate applications of high performance computing in a liberal arts environment -- suggest to me the important role that high-speed, high-bandwidth network infrastructure can play in answering this important question."
The partnership will more generally allow the two organizations to exchange expertise.
"Both Internet2 and NITLE see great potential in exchange of expert resources," said Ann Doyle, senior program manager of the Internet2 Arts & Humanities Initiative. "Joint programming is one possibility, as is inviting experts from campuses involved with our organizations to speak at or participate in meetings, workshops, and conferences."
Doyle added, "We are very excited about this partnership as I believe advanced networking will provide the greater Internet2 community access to the expert resources of campuses in the NITLE Network, as well as providing those campuses access to Internet2 members, and the opportunity to pursue membership directly with Internet2. The opportunities for exchange and collaboration here are unlimited."
Doyle and Jansson will work closely to advance the partnership between the organizations.
Conversations between NITLE and Internet2 began in Aug. 2009. The letter of agreement was finalized on Oct. 29, 2009.
About the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)
NITLE (pronounced "nightly") helps liberal arts colleges and universities explore and implement digital technologies. Faculty and staff from nearly 130 institutions in the NITLE Network use its offerings to enrich undergraduate education. NITLE is the key organization for small colleges seeking to engage students, manage technology strategically, and anticipate the impact of emerging technologies. Established in 2001 with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, its mission is to catalyze innovation to advance liberal education in the digital age. www.nitle.org.
Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium. Led by the research and education community since 1996, Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. By bringing research and academia together with technology leaders from industry, government and the international community, Internet2 promotes collaboration and innovation that has a fundamental impact on the future of the Internet.
Source: National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education
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