Learning Day Shows Arizona Educators Benefits of Gigabit Speed Connectivity

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

On November 8, more than 100 visitors came to the University of Arizona to learn how other educational institutions are using the gigabit-speed Internet2 connectivity offered by Sun Corridor Network to enable new teaching, learning, and research outcomes. The network, a project of Arizona's three state universities, is available to K-12 schools, comunity colleges, and libraries, as well as higher education institutions.

The event started with a welcome by the University of Arizona’s Chief Technology Officer, Derek Masseth, and the Sun Corridor Network Board President and Northern Arizona University Chief Information Officer, Steve Burrell, who spoke of emerging technologies that can better engage student learning.

An overview of E-rate and the upcoming 2018 changes and application cycle provided schools and libraries with the information they needed about federal funding for Internet connectivity. A panel of experts responded to questions about the Sun Corridor Network and E-rate for those qualifying institutions.

Susannah Spellman, Executive Director of U.S. UCAN (United States Unified Community Anchor Network), followed with an introduction to Internet2 and U.S. UCAN’s work with regional networks like Sun Corridor across the country to connect community anchor institutions—schools, libraries, health care facilities, and other public institutions—to advanced broadband capabilities.

Sun Corridor Network Executive Director Michael Sherman provided information on how schools, libraries, and other E-rate eligible organizations can achieve high-speed, high-performance Internet2 access through the Sun Corridor Network. He also announced a new DDoS (distributed denial of service) mitigation service that will now be included with a Sun Corridor Network subscription.

Attendees were treated to several live demonstrations of the power of Internet2. Chattanooga STEM High School students captivated the audience via live streaming as they spoke of their research collaboration with the University of Southern California. Their excitement for remote learning was clearly visible, and they enjoyed responding to audience questions regarding their learning and increased engagement in science because of the technologies made available to them.

A duet performed by musicians located on opposite sides of the country made for an amazing Low Latency (LOLA) network demonstration. Then Jeff Billings of Paradise Valley school district and Jason Caslor from the Arizona State University School of Music explained how Paradise Valley has built the technical pieces to serve their LOLA connectivity needs and their plans to bridge across the miles to ASU’s Grady Gammage Auditorium so students can take advantage of ASU’s music talent.

Attendees took a virtual field trip to the Channel Islands National Park and completed the day with an insider’s view of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory’s remote collaboration with telescopes in Hawaii and Chile via the Sun Corridor Network.

The Sun Corridor Network Learning Day event was made possible through generous support from corporate sponsors including Cable One, Cisco, Cox Business, Hye Tech Networks, and Zayo.

See the photos from this year's Learning Day in Tucson.