Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Carencro High pioneers in fiber optic education"

Marsha Sills of the Advocate has an analysis piece up today that coversthe Fiber Kids program at Carencro High’s Academy of Information Technology (AOIT). The lead:
Technology has changed the way classrooms look, how educators teach and how students learn. And one group of students, at Carencro High, is shaping the next generation of changes in the classroom, using fiber-optic technology.
Fiber Kids explores the use of fiber-optic tech in the classroom. The group has engaged in live streaming and video conferencing with kids in San Francisco and regularly uses a link to LITE's video and 3d rendering engine. Community tech types regularly come into the classroom to offer their expertise on the arcane topics that knit together an understanding of modern big broadband technologies. The project knits together resources from Louisiana Public Broadcasting, the Lafayette Utilities System (LUS), Bay Area Video Coalition and Louisiana Immersive Technologies Enterprise (LITE).

AOIT has rapidly become a fixture on the Lafayette tech scene and most folks associated with technology have a (vague) sense of what the school within a school is about. But exactly because we "know" it, we tend to treat as something that is normal, a regular part of a decent city—in the realm of "oh sure, that's a good thing." As has been said: "A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and in his own house." Others better appreciate what director Kit Becnel's school has achieved as is evidenced by:

Becnel and the FiberKids project are known in the broadband community, council member Don Bertrand said at the (LCG-School Board) meeting.

Bertrand, City-Parish President Joey Durel and other city officials were invited to a broadband public interest workshop at Google’s Washington, D.C., offices.

“We did not have to tell them who you were,” Bertrand said to Becnel. “She’s setting the course in the entire country on the use of broadband in education.”

During the meeting, School Superintendent Burnell Lemoine noted: “Why us? Why Carencro High School?

“The response was: We were the only academy set up or in the position in the United States to do this kind of project...”

...connections set Lafayette apart from other communities, said Joaquin Alvardo, senior vice president of diversity and innovation for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, on a visit to Lafayette last fall.

The closing paragraph, quoting Kit Becnel:
“I think not only nationwide, but globally, all eyes are on Lafayette and the capabilities: fiber to the home, education, public media, online, on the air,” she said. “This is going to be huge … as far as education and education redesign goes.”
It'd be a good thing to recognize the prophets that labor among us for little credit and less pay...(the "profits" get plenty of credit as is...)

A salute to Kit Becnel and AOIT!


post scriptum: If you'd like a bit more on the award mentioned here LPF is at your service...

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