The East Central BOCES is proud to offer access to a high speed Wide Area Network to our districts. The VNETs network provides interconnects for 17 of the East Central BOCES school districts via a hybrid Fiber/Microwave Wireless Network. Via this network, the BOCES provides IP based Distance Learning opportunities through video-conferencing and high speed internet access with a combined throughput of over 30 Mbps.
The VNETs (Video Network for Educational and Training Services) is an interactive multipoint video conferencing system that has been installed in 17 of the school districts and at the EC BOCES office in Limon. The system came on line in the fall of 2006, and is being used to expand curriculum choices for high school students, to provide professional development for faculty members, meetings for administration and health and educational opportunities for community members. This system is not only allowing for the educational enrichment for staff and students of all participating districts, but is also enabling districts to keep functioning despite declining enrollment.
Districts are able to share teachers and classes so that their students are able to enjoy a full, rigorous curriculum and higher level high school students are given access to community college classes. This program is providing educational opportunities that were previously unattainable in these small rural communities and is easing the strain on district resources as faculty and administrators are able to attend meetings and professional development classes from their own buildings, saving not only money for fuel and vehicle usage but also valuable travel time.
The VNETS administration was put in place by all member district superintendents with local board approval then was turned over to a VNETS Steering Committee comprised of five of the member district superintendents, the Executive Director of the ECBOCES, a VNETS Coordinator, and the Technology Director for the ECBOCES. This committee makes the decision on the direction and operation of the system and takes the larger decisions back to the total members as needed.