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Information Resources Management Association
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Strong Networks Grow Distance Learning

Strong Networks Grow Distance Learning
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Author(s): Pankaj Shah (OARnet, USA) and Kate M. Carey (Ohio Learning Networking, USA)
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 7
Source title: Encyclopedia of Distance Learning, Second Edition
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Patricia L. Rogers (Bemidji State University, USA), Gary A. Berg (California State University Channel Islands (Retired), USA), Judith V. Boettcher (Designing for Learning, USA), Caroline Howard (HC Consulting, USA), Lorraine Justice (Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong) and Karen D. Schenk (K. D. Schenk and Associates Consulting, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-198-8.ch286


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This article presents a snapshot of one state’s experience with connectivity from the early 1980s to the present and illustrates how distance learning has utilized that infrastructure to grow to serve more than 100,000 Ohioans. In early 1980s, most of Ohio’s telecommunications traffic traveled on dial-up connections. Ohio’s history of formidable statewide networking began in 1987, when Compuserve and OARnet (Ohio Academic Resources Network) were among few regional networks in existence. Through various mergers and acquisitions, Compuserve became Worldcom, AOL, MCI-Worldcom, and, finally, Verizon. OARnet became the Third Frontier Network (TFN) in 2004 and now is referred to as OSCnet and Broadband Ohio Network (BON). OARnet was created in 1987 by the Ohio Board of Regents to provide statewide connectivity to resources at the Ohio Supercomputer Center (OSC). In later years, the network extended support to the 89 member institutions of the Ohio Library and Information Network (OhioLINK), and the 83 colleges and universities of the Ohio Learning Network (OLN), a consortium offering blended, online, and distance education. OLN provides faculty development, infrastructure support via Collaborative Learning Environments (CLE), and various student support services and grants.

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