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Merit Network Participating in Panel Presentation at CoSN Conference

ANN ARBOR – Elwood Downing, vice president of member relations, communications and services at Merit Network, and Mike Richardson, director of Regional Educational Media Center (REMC) 1, are participating in a panel presentation at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) 2012 K-12 Technology Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. on March 6, 2012. They will join representatives from the Missouri Research and Education Network (MOREnet), the New Jersey Research & Education Network (NJEDge.NET), and Passaic Valley Regional High School in a discussion on maximizing Internet connectivity for education.

“We are excited to share our experiences with the conference attendees,” said Downing. “K-12 schools and districts can provide students with a richer educational experience by offering more services through the network, as well as lower their costs through collaboration.”

“REMC 1 has long been a partner with Merit, and continues to leverage that relationship to centrally provide higher quality services at lower costs to our small rural schools,” Richardson said. “The ability to use the network to provide the latest technologies in a cost effective manner is crucial for students in the Upper Peninsula to learn and perform at their highest potential. The opportunity for REMC 1 to share our experiences with others at conferences like CoSN is the just another part of collaboration.”

The focus of the presentation will be on ways to improve student learning, leverage resources, decrease costs, and share services. Merit’s REACH-3MC project, which will expand fiber-optic network access across Michigan, will be touched on during the presentation.

For over 20 years, Merit Network has been providing K-12 organizations in Michigan with access to its statewide network. Merit first connected five K-12 schools to its network in 1992 as part of Project Connect, and in the years since, the nonprofit provider has grown to connect 30 intermediate school districts, as well as individual school districts, charter schools, and private schools. Merit connects school districts to each other with its statewide network and provides access to the Internet and Internet2 Network.

This year marks the 20th anniversary for the CoSN conference, and the theme of this year’s event is reimagining learning. Many presentations will involve Web 2.0 applications, digital resources, and mobile devices. For more about the CoSN Conference, please visit the CoSN web site.