This technology plan is a portion of the international respository maintained and distributed by the:

National Center for Technology Planning (NCTP)
Dr. Larry S. Anderson, Founder/Director
Post Office Box 2393
Tupelo, MS 38803

This plan's inclusion in the electronic database indicates that it is due consideration by technology planning committees.


K-12 Networking - State of Tennessee

The following message concerns K-12 networking in the State of Tennessee. Forwarding or cross-posting of this message is welcomed, provided the content is left intact. This does not represent an official statement by the State of Tennessee, and any errors or omissions are my own. I must acknowledge the invaluable contribution of the COSNDISC participants and other state Education officials in our planning process in Tennessee: we've sought the benefit of others' experience in K-12 networking and you have been most helpful to us.

The Tennessee State Department of Education presented its recommendations for the Tennessee Education Network (TEN) and 21st Century Classroom initiatives to the State's Information Systems Council (ISC) on December 16, 1993. Part of that presentation was the recommended TEN telecommunications approach. That segment of the presentation is reproduced in outline form below. The ISC gave their support to this approach, and Tennessee will be implementing the TEN - including Internet access to every school - in 1994.

=================================== Page 5

Presentation to Tennessee Information Systems Council

December 16, 1993

Tennessee Education Network
Telecommunications Implementation Plan
Why a statewide K-12 telecommunications plan

To implement the TEN Vision presented to the Information Systems Council in June, 1993:

        "Tennessee educators will have access to their colleagues
        and specialists around the world.  Opportunities will be
        available to connect student work with real-life problems
        associated with the work of other students and adults. 
        Tennessee teachers will be able to network with their peers
        to share ideas and to explore creative learning

We are deploying many educational computers, all of which need to be able to reach resources that reside on other computers:

The growth of education/research networks has been geometric: for example The Internet; Texas TENET [INSERT LINE GRAPHS HERE]

Demand from the Tennessee K-12 community is proven

Very strong response to a survey of 200 School System Technology Coordinators mailed out 12/1/93 requesting information related to Internet access:

(Received 50% response rate within 3 business days.)

Who has constructed the TEN Telecommunications Plan

A partnership: State Department Of Education, School Systems, the Office for Information Resources, Higher Education - Tennessee Board of Regents, University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University

Design rests on complementary strengths

Collectively will provide operation of TEN and long term planning under Information Systems Council oversight

Strengthens bonds between K-12 and Higher Ed

State Department of Education/School Systems provide definition of needs, Advisory Council leadership, work with legislature on funding

The Office for Information Resources provides statewide high capacity backbone network, telecommunications statewide contracts ("800" toll-free calling), wiring planning guidelines, supports TEN Student Information System database application

Higher Education provides local access to TEN from their campuses, operation of a TEN Server ("the TEN Gateway"), development of the K-12 user interface menu and information utilities, access to libraries and other resources, user training, long term network planning (with the Office for Information Resources)

Vanderbilt University provides interim Internet user accounts and user training, support to higher ed in developing telecommunications training programs for K-12

What makes up the telecommunications design for the TEN

Network equipment and services to meet the Basic Design Requirements defined by State Department of Education: The TEN Will:

A set of standards

worldwide standards: data now, video emerging.

Leverage use of existing Office for Information Resources and Tennessee Board of Regents (TECnet) networks

A system of Nodes

Primarily 14 Tennessee Board of Regents Nodes in Phase 1; In Phase 2, will "cascade" down via subnodes at Regional or School System level [INSERT NETWORK DIAGRAM HERE]

A Dedicated computer: the "TEN Server", to act as gateway to resources

a consistent "front end" menu

email services

connection to the TECnet, University of Tennessee net, libraries, and The Internet

A Training Strategy and Program



The Tennessee Education Network (TEN) will be a comprehensive statewide administrative, professional, and instructional telecommunications network which will provide for the transmission of voice, data, image, and video. Tennessee classrooms will be connected to TEN through a series of easy-to-use local and wide area networks.

Each of Tennessee's K-12 public schools will have access to this "electronic highway" and exposure to a world of knowledge and learning opportunities. The State Department of Education and Local Education Agencies will utilize TEN to collect and distribute valuable information to assist in classroom management, school-based decision making, local policy development, and program evaluation.

The Tennessee Education Network will provide all students and teachers equitable access to learning regardless of the geographic location or limits on resources available to the school. Education delivery to the homebound and to others with special needs will be greatly enhanced. Students and teachers will have access to information resources originating from distant libraries, museums, and universities. Students will be able to communicate with other students with common interests from all over the globe. On-line homework help and course tutoring will be commonplace. Rural schools will be able to offer their students a broader and richer curriculum with the availability of high quality two-way interactive video distance learning.

TEN will offer courses, degree programs, and career development for Tennessee educators. They will have access to their colleagues and specialists around the world. Opportunities will be available to connect student work with real-life problems associated with the work of other students and adults. Tennessee teachers will be able to network with their peers to share ideas and to explore creative learning approaches.

The Tennessee Education Network will expand opportunities for teachers, students, and parents to bring together learning activities in schools with those in homes, community centers, and other institutions. TEN and classroom learning technologies have an enormous potential for advancing the restructuring of teaching and learning. The classroom will no longer be bound by four walls.

Jack R. McFadden, Director Telecommunications Policy and Planning Internet: State of Tennessee
Dept. of Finance & Administration OIR/Telecommunications
598 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-0560
Phone: (615)741-5080
Fax: (615)741-4996