Campus: Cal Poly, Pomona -- October 7, 1999

University's Mediavision Group Honored

Cal Poly Pomona's MediaVision Group, a pioneer in the area of virtual education at the collegiate level, has been recognized for its efforts by the Cisco Systems Public Sector Innovation Council. Cal Poly Pomona is the only university in the nation being recognized for its computer network implementation using Cisco hardware and software.

Lev Gonick, dean of Instructional Technology and Academic Computing (ITAC), represented Cal Poly Pomona at the inaugural Innovation Council on Sept. 30 at the Rihga Royal Hotel in New York City.

Headquartered in San Jose, Cisco Systems, Inc. is the worldwide leader in networking for the Internet. Its products include routers, Local-area Networks (LAN) and Asynchronous Transfer Mode switches, dial-up access servers and network management software. These products, integrated by Cisco IOS software, link LANs, wide-area networks and IBM networks.

In the mid-1990s, ITAC began working with Cisco Systems to develop a prototype network. The idea was to support the innovative, web-based streaming video applications for MediaVision with Cisco's advanced switching equipment.

At Cal Poly Pomona, more than 50 learning spaces theatres, boardrooms, seminar rooms, studios and even the equine sciences lab are all linked by fiber optics. These outlets originate nearly 1,000 hours of educational content broadcast live over the world's first wireless digital cable network.

MediaVision also sends a 24-hour-a-day broadcast to both Los Angeles and Orange counties and streams live in three different formats across the Internet. It also supports "on-demand" access through a series of web-enabled pages and smart technology.

"We maintain that the campus network can be employed to distribute all manner of educational materials," said Gonick. "It gives teachers and students access to text, video, multicasts of broadcast television assets, and audio at the click of a mouse from anywhere on campus and beyond."

The key is how MediaVision supports creation and distribution of educational material and the advancement of undergraduate education.

"MediaVision is a strategy for active learning," said Gonick. "It's an enabling environment that supports interaction and cooperation, active learning and different learning styles."

The system makes available information which otherwise might be limited, for

example, to a single lecture. MediaVision permits students to review an annotated lecture, going immediately to specific key points. And they can do it from their own dorm rooms as well as the University Library or the open access computer labs.

"This is the power of switched technology on the campus: the ability to augment and enhance the learning environment," said Gonick.

Currently, 84 LANs support some 47 buildings with nearly 7,300 available data jacks. With the network supporting upwards of 150 hours of weekly educational programming representing all eight colleges, at any one time there are about 3,500 active computers on the network.

"Cisco has been instrumental in helping us make MediaVision a reality," said Gonick, "working with us from the prototype phase to continued campus-wide support."

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