Colorado K-12 schools and public libraries are eligible to apply for Internet connection and training grants in a new program administered by Colorado State University and funded by US West.
The one-year grants will provide 60 selected schools and libraries with free Internet connections, training, consultant support and network services. The Internet Connections Program is funded by a $497,768 US West grant and is managed by Patrick Burns, engineering professor at Colorado State, with the participation of University of Colorado-Colorado Springs and the University of Colorado-Denver.
"This program not only pays expensive set-up costs, but also provides support and training every step of the way. Since central hub site costs will be covered under the grant, the expansion of Internet access to additional schools will be easy and inexpensive," said Burns.
Selected sites will be provided with local hubs, which allow computers within each school to connect to each other, and central hubs, which allow direct connections to the Internet. Network services, including electronic mail, Net News, World Wide Web access and hosting of Web pages, will be funded for one year. Training will be provided to site representatives, who will extend training to other teachers and students within their schools.
Selected sites must provide one teacher to serve as a primary site contact. Sites must supply their primary site contacts time to attend three all-day training sessions and time each day to support the network and train other teachers and students. Grant recipients must maintain Internet connection beyond the one-year grant period, subject to available funding.
"Internet access is becoming increasingly important because it allows improved communication among educators, parents and the community, and provides teachers and students access to high quality materials and curricula, especially in math and science," said Burns. "Several proposals which would support school Internet connections are currently being considered by the legislature. Government aid will likely be available in the future, and state or federal funds could be used to pick up and continue the efforts of the Internet Connections Program."
Selection of sites is based upon need, geographical balance and applicant’s intent to support the effort and extend the connection beyond the first year of funding. Applications must be postmarked Oct. 15, or received in person by Oct. 20.
To receive an application or for more information, call Burns at (970) 491-6120; Frank Edlin of University of Colorado- Denver at (303) 556-4307; or Leslie Manning of University of Colorado-Colorado Springs at (719) 262-3115. Information and application requirements also are available on the Web at http://k12.colostate.edu/puc/solicitation.html.