The Kentucky Education Network
Why does the high speed network exist in the K12 environment of
Kentucky’s schools? Simply put--for the benefit of our students
educational experience and the use of our teachers and administrators
to facilitate their learning. KEN has evolved from a series of
improvements in the KETS network beginning in 1993.
The first KETS network was implemented as a dial in system with 8
modems and a Wildcat Bulletin Board used to access contract files
and other KETS information, much the same way we use the KDE-
WEB site today. Soon afterwards we added email and could access
the Internet via this bank of 19.2 baud modems. At the time there
were no networks in schools with the exception of a few stand alone
labs and there were no schools or classrooms with Email or Internet.
In the summer of 94, the Office of Education Technology led the
effort to establish a true wide area network (WAN) and a local area
network (LAN) in every district office in the state. Using the first
Kentucky Information Highway (KIH) contract all 176 districts and 8
Regional Service Centers received a 56 KB high speed connection
along with a common email system and a financial system called
MUNIS. This called for new technology items to be installed that
districts had not encountered before such as routers, a CSUs/DSUs,
network hubs, and CAT 5 wiring. Each of the 56 kb circuits was
connected to a local university hub. Eleven hubs existed across the
state with as many as 25 districts connected to a single university hub
sharing a T1. These hub sites connected to Frankfort via a T1
connection as well. This grew from 1 to 3 T1’s in less than 6 months.
Kentucky Tele-Linking Network (KTLN) made its debut during this
timeframe with video conferencing areas for all universities and 60
Kentucky school districts using T1 circuits split between video service
and data transmission. The Internet pipe improved to 6 T1’s as
demand increased. It quickly became apparent that the current
network design could not be maintained to meet the growing demand
of school districts.
A new technology system, Frame Relay, was established in 1996
allowing the “shared network” concept to connect schools with a
much reduced cost in hardware infrastructure. The KETS network
migrated to the Frame Relay design providing additional bandwidth
and eliminated the need for university hubs. Schools were now
pushing the shared Internet connection to greater limits requiring DS3
(45 mb) line speed. Oversubscription to the KIH network and the
state Frame Relay system created constricted use during the school
day. This led to OET initializing a project to convert every district to
point to point or “home runs” design. This design and contract
offerings allowed additional T1’s to be provided for district use. The
hardware footprint at OET continued to grow in size and the Internet
connection was at OC3 (155mb). We quickly outgrew this network
By 2005 many districts had outgrown the T1 base network. Many
schools now had high speed Ethernet networks running over fiber
links within their buildings and between their schools. Instructional
and administrative use reached an all time high. In 2007 the KETS
Network went through yet another improvement. Our legislature and
leaders recognized the need for improvement and provided the
financial means to accomplish this project. The improvement was the
KEN Network providing for 10 and 100 meg Ethernet pipes into every
school district in Kentucky. This pipeline opened the many
possibilities we enjoy now. We have, as technology workers, gone
through many improvement steps in an effort to meet timely needs
and should expect this to be an ongoing endeavor. Continuous
improvement is the building block of the modern technology worker.
As much as we dislike or resist change we should equally embrace
improvement and the KEN Network is just that.
The KEN Network is now serving the students of Kentucky. Who are
our students and how do they learn or what motivates them? I have a
short 4 minute clip to share with you. It is a Century 21 video of kids
from YouTube. Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_A-
ZVCjfWf8 Click button at bottom right corned of video screen to go
FULL SCREEN on video
Our students need to be digital learners. The State of Kentucky has
Standards established in our Program of Studies requiring mastery of
Technology skills for graduation by 2012. Digital citizenship and
mastery of technology is no longer something that can be added in
vocational schools or elective courses. To be successful, Kentucky
citizens must be users of technology at home and at work. Some
examples of digital citizens use of technology include cell phones,
email, online business/commerce, online research, such as buying a
car, insurance quotes, medical records, medical research of
disease/ailments, remote medical procedures, medical consultations,
online banking, income tax filing, access libraries,
museums of art and history, patent research, download music, books,
magazines, and educational coursework- and the list goes on and on!
Our students will be expected to meet National and International
standards of technology skill sets. As our students become citizens
and employees they will need to know and be able to demonstrate
ISTE Standards (International Society for Technology Education) this
organization has student standards, teacher, and administrator
standards. Standards are a basis for the Kentucky Program of Studies
(a legal document binding expectations for Kentucky high school
graduates in all content areas including technology (as adopted in
2007). These technology requirements include three big ideas:
Information, Communication, and Productivity; Safety and Ethics;
and Research and Creativity.
The KEN Network provides the backbone for today’s technology
classroom. Today’s classrooms could be equipped with hardware
including computers (desk top or laptop), projectors (mounted or
mobile), interactive white boards including portable tablet sized
options, document cameras, digital cameras (still and video),
classroom performance systems (individualized student response and
feedback assessment tools). Additionally, the KEN Network provides
access and reliability to resources including:
User ID katepd, password: ktlc. Click on grade level (use 6-
8) pick science then pick clip (pick second video with bicycles)
enter user name (roverby) and password (richwood59) then click
the play button. Play through intro and an additional 15 seconds
and then hit stop button.
Encyclomedia is a bank of video aligned to Kentucky curriculum
that can be accessed by every educator in Kentucky- the contract
cost is paid through KET and Kentucky legislative funding; the
video library can be searched by key words from curriculum,
grade levels, subject, and by specific core content statements.
Teachers or students can download these videos at home or at
school. A typical clip might be re-enactment of a Civil War
engagement or actual footage of a historical event.
Can you imagine as a teacher being able to reach out and retract a
piece of history or re-enactment to emphasis or augment your
lesson? The encyclomedia library of clips also includes photos,
quizzes, lessons, and units. Many of the videos can be edited by
teachers and students to create personalized content or
KEN provides high speed access to Kentucky eLearn (KY Virtual
High Schools-providing AP courses, professional development,
Go to KVHS tap at top for High Schools
KEN provides high speed access to non-credited MIT courses.
Any person interested in taking a MIT class can access free of
charge and audit the class (no class credit without tuition
Internet2 is the foremost U.S. advanced networking consortium.
Led by the research and education community since 1996,
Internet2 promotes the missions of its members by providing both
leading-edge network capabilities and unique partnership
opportunities that together facilitate the development, deployment
and use of revolutionary Internet technologies. By bringing
research and academia together with technology leaders from
industry, government and the international community, Internet2
promotes collaboration and innovation that has a fundamental
impact on the future of the Internet.
Internet 2 history from Wikipedia (an example of Web 2.0
generation_Internet_backbone_and_Internet2 (museums, other
Technology in Classrooms of Kentucky, or TICK, is currently a
repository of over 1800 learning objects (including units, lessons,
files, web sites, etc.). These resources have been aligned (by
professional KATE staff and a strong partnership of Kentucky
teachers as well as Technology Integration Specialists) to
Kentucky curriculum documents including core content and the
Technology Big Ideas from the Program of Studies.
Other applications that promote collaboration through the use of the
KEN high speed network include:
Teleconferencing (education applications such as Elluminate,
Breeze, E/pop; personal or educational applications such as
Skype, Sightspeed, and others.
Web 2.0 applications (changing web-Google documents).
wikipedia-collaborative document produced by a learning
community- new way to do student projects, blogs-writing space
on a specific topic, examples news blogs, current events and
expanded information that had to be cut from live broadcast, these
documents may include opinions added by the provider.
These examples are just a sampling of what our teachers and
students are using and have access to on a daily basis because of the
ease of access created by KEN. New and additional programs, sites,
and techniques are being developed constantly to help our students
become successful citizens in the 21st century and the KEN network
is the pipeline allowing these innovations to become a reality.
THANK YOU for your attention this morning. I’m pleased to have
been a part of the Patterns of Distinction 2008.
Introduce next speaker—Allen Lind
I’m equally pleased at this time to introduce your next speaker:
Allen Lind is Vice President for Information and Technology at the
Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. He has
responsibility for Information Technology, Data Research,
Statewide Networks, the Kentucky Virtual Campus and the
Kentucky Virtual Library.
Allen has 36 years experience in education technology positions at
IBM and at university system offices in Illinois and Mississippi,
including the University of Illinois where he graduated with double
bachelors degrees in Engineering and Economics.