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Schools link to ECU for distance ed programs

(May 12, 1995)   —   Two northeastern North Carolina elementary schools are linking their computers with those at East Carolina University in a project to decide how education in rural schools can benefit from cruising the information highway.
The two schools are Riverview Elementary in Hertford County and Roberson Elementary in Edgecombe County.
Dr. Emmett M. Floyd, a professor in the ECU School of Education, said each school has an array of computers that are linked together in their own network. Riverview School uses DOS-based computers like IBM’s while Roberson uses Apples.
The project, according to Floyd, links the schools with ECU to form a network called EASTNET. Teachers and administrators at the schools will use EASTNET to gain access to the state’s LearningNet and to the popular Internet. With the LearningNet, the schools can use ECU’s “Experts on Line” help desk, being developed, for questions to faculty about mathematics, science, social studies and communications.
A group of teachers and media specialists are also reviewing the available Internet services to determine areas that might be useful to the North Carolina Standard Course of Study. Parents will be asked for their recommendations too.
“By using two very different sized schools with different computer applications, the project will be able to be replicated in any networked school environment regardless of school size or computer configuration,” Floyd said.
The project is directed by the ECU School of Education and its newly formed educational work group— the Eastern North Carolina Consortium for Assistance and Research in Education (ENCCARE). Sprint/Carolina Telephone is providing technical assistance.