West Virginia Network partners with URcast to expand access to learning content for K-12 students

-Program gives students access to lessons in or outside the classroom without Internet connection-

Charleston, W.Va. – The West Virginia Network (WVNET), a branch of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, has partnered with URcast to provide K-12 students in classrooms across West Virginia access to learning content without an Internet connection.

URcast, a content distribution application customized for the K-12 classroom, provides caching services that allow students to view content without an Internet connection wherever they have a computer, tablet or smart phone. This is made possible by reallocating bandwidth and placing a caching server within the school.

“Caching speeds up student Internet access so classroom time is learning time, not waiting time,” said Paul Hill, the Commission’s Chancellor. “A faster speed of delivery can provide students with more personalized learning experiences and give teachers greater opportunities to engage their students on the lesson at hand.”

Mt. Vernon Elementary School in Barbour County is currently participating as a pilot school in the program. This rural school has seen early success with providing instructional materials, including books and videos, on students’ devices that they can access on the school bus and at home in the evenings, on weekends or on snow days without the Internet.

“Access to technology is an essential component of a world class education,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano. “The partnership between WVNET and URcast will provide our staff and students with a valuable tool to help cross the digital divide and make learning exciting, relevant and meaningful. Having access to robust and engaging content at school, on the bus and at home will extend the learning environment to traditionally underserved areas.”

A video showcasing Mt. Vernon Elementary School’s success with the program can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=82H7_2cEMW4.

WVNET is currently seeking additional pilot schools to participate in this project and bring new technology to their students. Interested schools can contact Booker Walton, Customer Resource Specialist at WVNET, at btwiii@mail.wvnet.edu or 304-293-5192.

For more information, visit http://www.wvnet.edu/urcast.