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National, State and Regional Networks (sample)

The Miami Science Museum, sponsored by the NSF with matching funds from Unisys Corp, partners with a local school. It is one configuration among 6 others across the U.S. Miami's Science Learning Network focuses on environmental studies, such as weather, water quality, and niches like the Everglades and oceans. Viewed from a national perspective, it illustrates a new species of affinity groups and consortia--museums, schools, business, and government with linkages across the land.

PRISM, a past NSF-sponsored professional development network, is structured ala Paris with imaginative spaces for monuments (Right Bank), tutorials and a few links, discussion groups (Montmartre) and so on.

Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) was created by the New York State Legislature to provide shared educational programs and services to school districts. BOCES is an economical way for districts to join together to provide programs and services that they might not be able to afford otherwise. In other larger states regions can be gatewayed from a central state office. Universities have stepped up to the plate in some states to ally with schools for telecommunications.

For a complete listing of all regional labs in the US, including territory, specializations and URLs, visit the DOEd Labs site.Both WestEd and 4Teachers (South Central Regional Technology Consortium)publish good stories about teaching with technology.4teachers also carries HTML forms so that teachers can create online lessons via a small collection of URL's; it's called TRACK.

4Teachers is one of the very few networking sites for teachers which can be adapted for adults with visual impairments.

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The Web infrastructure is spawning new configurations of affinity groups---all will magnify the corpus of remote learning sources and transform the processes of investigations. For instance, comparing data from different locations has become one pervasive model in telecommunications. In a biology class students in the Colorado mountains were searching for a school in a sea level venue to compare/contrast heartbeat rates after exercise. Hopefully, other regions will self-organize like SEABA.

The directories of the regional labs and state sites can help you find partnering sites for particular projects. For instance, the Global SchoolNet announces such projects but the responses could be hit or miss. Suppose you want to map microbiologies in a region or contrast heart rates after exercise in a mountainous and sea level location it would be easier to find the appropriate partner via these directories.

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