Distance learning works in Texas

Several East Texas communities and schools no longer face a mass exodus of their best and brightest young people to other communities with better schools, thanks to a distance-learning consortium that provides two-way video education technology to the region.

The East Texas Learning Interactive Network Consortium (ET-LINC) enables teachers in one school to interact simultaneously with students in up to three other facilities while the teachers are teaching their local classes.

ET-LINC's distance-learning program currently includes six colleges sharing sessions with 11 school districts in a 400-square-mile area. A collaboration with Texas A& M University-Commerce soon will expand the scope of the ET-LINC to include 11 more consortia throughout the state.

The network, provided by General DataComm (GDC) Inc., runs over fiber-optic lines and uses GDC's APEX multiservice switches. GDC, based in Middlebury, Conn., designs, develops and manufactures multiservice communications systems for service providers and businesses.

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