Evaluation of the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program: South Coast Telecommunication Project

Nicole Bartfai
The South Coast Education Service District initiated a full-scale technology plan that encompassed three counties, which includes 10 school districts. The TIIAPfunded portion of the project involved the purchase of audio and document-sharing equipment, which allowed for interactive audio and document sharing. Also included in the grant were 20 video conferencing units that were placed throughout the districts, and the creation of the Virtual Learning Network. These three components were complemented with extensive training for teachers and other end users of the technology. Difficulties experienced by the project included inadequate planning in regard to the time and money required for various aspects of the project, difficulties with project partners, and video conferencing equipment, that proved difficult to connect and unreliable. Despite several problems, the overall project affected district personnel, teachers, students, and the overall community. The audio and document-sharing stations reduced the cost and burden associated with the extended travel necessary in many rural areas. Overall, Internet access, access to resources, and teacher and student levels of technology literacy increased during the grant period, mostly due to the emphasis placed on training. The Virtual Learning Network provided resources for teachers and others with Internet access on how to use a variety of software applications.
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