The Howard County Executive’s office and the Howard County Public School System held a joint press conference at Reservoir High School in Fulton, Maryland, to share how the Inter-County Broadband Network (ICBN) has increased access and expanded horizons beyond the classroom for all students.
Howard County executive Allan H. Kittleman praised the ICBN for delivering high capacity, high-speed broadband access to community institutions, businesses and residents throughout Howard County.
“I am impressed with the innovation going on at our county schools. Through the Inter-County Broadband Network, they have been provided a great opportunity, and they certainly are taking advantage of it,” said Kittleman. “HCPSS now has the highest broadband capacity of any school system in the state and one of the highest in the nation. This has allowed our school system to offer classes at multiple high schools that would have been offered only at one. It allows students at all levels to participate in long-distance learning opportunities that we could have only dreamed of a short time ago.”
HCPSS Superintendent Renee A. Foose provided examples of educational benefits that ICBN makes possible in Howard County schools. They included a Google hangout with scientists in Canada, students in English classes creating social media accounts for characters in a novel, and national Constitution Day activities, such as online games and resources, that required high speed Internet.
“ICBN vastly expands the digital capacity in the classroom, and gives teachers a far broader palette of options for creating dynamic and relevant learning activities that link the classroom to the real world,” said Foose. “Through digital education, any high school student, in any school, can take previously unavailable classes without leaving their building. A single teacher can teach a class for students throughout the county at the same time.”
“Our Digital Education Program and Bring Your Own Device promote anywhere, anytime learning,” said Howard County Board of Education Chairman Janet Siddiqui. “These let students connect to teachers and peers anywhere in our system and beyond, and gain access to an abundance of online materials and resources.”
Dylan Fox, a student at Reservoir High School, offered a student’s perspective of ICBN. He takes differential equations, an advanced math course, through a virtual classroom. Fox shared that after only a few classes, he realized that distance learning encourages education, collaboration, and enhances instruction.
Following the press conference, attendees had the opportunity to view a distance learning honors Chinese class being taught from Marriotts Ridge High School. Also in attendance at the event were Howard County Board of Education members Ellen Flynn Giles and Christine O’Connor .
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