The University of Maine System has received a $500,000 award from the USDA through the Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program administered by the Rural Utilities Service (RUS). The grant funds will be used to replace ITV and Polycom equipment in 62 locations across the state. The project will include sixty two sites, centers and campuses across the State of Maine.
A link to the USDA announcement can be found here. The written description of the grant submission is below.
21st Century Education: Modernizing Distance Education for Rural Maine
The University of Maine System is proposing a distance learning technology upgrade project to convert both it’s video conferencing and instructional television 20th century distance education systems to a new 21st century web conferencing solution. The solution will provide a unified teaching and learning experience combined with remote services and support that is ideally suited for rural Maine students. The conversion to web conferencing will provide the opportunity for the University of Maine System to meet the growing demand for shared programming through increased cross-campus collaboration and will enable students at smaller institutions and outreach centers to benefit from broader availability of classes in such areas as the STEM disciplines, foreign languages, and nursing. Rural entrepreneurs, teachers and other professionals may also benefit as the added system capacity allows for educational programming that meets their needs while linking them to peer and professional networks.