Education's role in statewide telecommunications network *policy development: Three models
Sandra Lynn Murphy, Northern Illinois University, United States
Northern Illinois University . Awarded
Educators are increasingly being called upon to support, utilize, and allocate resources for statewide telecommunications networks. Designed to deliver instructional content via a variety of telecommunications technologies, statewide networks are present in some form in almost every state. Education needs to be involved in the development and governance of statewide telecommunications networks if these networks are to provide value to the educational community. This study focused on three states, Iowa, Missouri, and Virginia, to provide a descriptive review of how education participates in the development of policy designed to support these networks.
Each of the three states included in this study represents a different model of network “ownership” and governance. One model represents a totally outsourced approach where the network is provided entirely by telecommunications companies. In the second model, the state owns and operates the network in its entirety. The third model represents a hybrid approach where telecommunications services are leased from the telecommunications providers and the state owns the equipment and provides all of the network administration and support.
A qualitative research methodology was utilized to gather data for the study. The resulting description of each state illustrates how education is represented and influences policy development through committees, advisory councils, and governing boards. Support by the educational community, developed and nurtured through education's involvement and buy-in at the earliest stages of network development, played a key role in education's long-term support and utilization of the network.
The results of this study suggest that education, as a key stakeholder, needs to be involved at the policy-making level of statewide telecommunications networks if the network is going to be able to provide the service needed to deliver instructional content to students. Recognizing that each state is unique, education's involvement in statewide telecommunications networks will be as varied as the states, and what works in one state may not be applicable in another. This research provides a look at how three states facilitate education's involvement in statewide telecommunications networks.
Murphy, S.L. Education's role in statewide telecommunications network *policy development: Three models. Ph.D. thesis, Northern Illinois University.
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