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Internet2 K20 Initiative Launches Social Networking Site for Faculty, Administrators and Students

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  • From: "Lauren Rotman" <>
  • To: <>
  • Subject: Internet2 K20 Initiative Launches Social Networking Site for Faculty, Administrators and Students
  • Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2008 11:52:10 -0400

Internet2 K20 Initiative Launches Social Networking Site for Faculty,
Administrators and Students

Site to Help Facilitate More Rapid Adoption of Next Generation Technology by
K20 Community

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - April 15, 2008 - The Internet2 K20 Initiative today
announced that it has launched a brand new social networking site called
Muse ( which seeks to significantly enhance
collaboration, information-sharing and technology opportunities for the over
50,000 K-12 schools, community colleges, libraries and museums in 38 U.S.
states that are now connected to the Internet2 backbone network. The site is
also expected to provide a better bridge between the U.S. K20 community and
its international counterparts worldwide. Within the short time since
launching, the new site has already experienced significant uptake within
the community.

"The Internet2 K20 community has traditionally embraced advanced technology
to facilitate new opportunities for students at all levels to experience a
richer environment for teaching and learning. The development of a social
networking web resource is a natural progression for our community which
has long sought more efficient ways to share experiences, ideas, resources,
projects and collaborations across geographic boundaries," said Louis Fox,
Director, Internet2 K20 Initiative and Associate Vice President, University
of Washington. "We have experienced strong use since the site has gone live
and expect its adoption to continue especially as functionality enabling
deeper collaboration is added. In the future, we see Muse as a potentially
helpful resource for the greater Internet2 community to enhance project
collaborations on a global scale and facilitate cross-disciplinary

Muse was developed by University of Washington student web programmers under
the leadership of James Werle, Associate Director, Internet2 K20 Initiative,
University of Washington, and Jennifer Oxenford, Associate Director, MAGPI.
The site expands upon the core code of Drupal, an open source content
management platform, and provides many of the Web 2.0 features found in
popular social networking sites.

Practitioners from the broad K20 community can set up individual and
institutional profiles, describe projects, share resources, and create
direct connections with their peers both regionally, nationally and
internationally. The site also allows online communities to be created and
scoped to a specific geographic area. This feature is geared for groups of
organizations looking to share resources just within their immediate region
while still participating in the global Muse community.

Currently, five regional Muse sites have been established including the
MAGPI region of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. MAGPI, co-founder and
co-developer of the Muse system, has already seen tremendous adoption among
its regional community. Jennifer Oxenford, Associate Director of MAGPI,
believes that by developing this integrated regional capability within the
global Muse system, there is finally a successful method for bridging
regional, national and international advanced networking communities.

Oxenford commented, "Through Muse, there is now a way of providing members
across our broad K20 regional communities access to a one-stop shop for the
regional, national and international collaboration opportunities they're

Since its launch, additional regional Muse sites have been created in
Minnesota, North Carolina and Wisconsin with others expected to join in the
months to come. Kathy Kraemer, TIES Education Technology Consultant and
District Technology Integration Coordinator for Fridley Public School in
Minnesota, agrees that Muse is already greatly assisting their efforts
regionally and expects adoption to grow.

"In Minnesota, there are many groups working on a variety of Internet2
applications. With Muse, we've become more aware of other schools and
organizations working on similar projects and are finding better ways to
work together," said Kraemer. "It does an amazing job of cross promoting
organizations, projects and people. Beyond our state, when interested people
ask me where to go for more information on Internet2, I point them to Muse
to find a whole array of people and organizations."

While the site continues to rapidly expand in use, Muse plans to introduce
the ability for users to create topically-based communities, chat in real
time about projects and interests, receive email "Museletters" tailored to
those specific interests and provide RSS feeds to broadcast information on
new users, projects and organizations as the site grows. In doing so, the
site intends to provide the community the ability to develop stronger, more
comprehensive collaboration groups and to promote the more rapid adoption of
advanced networking applications among this unique set of Internet2 users.

Muse builds on the success of the nationwide Internet2 K20 Initiative in
bringing together Internet2 member institutions and innovators from primary
and secondary schools, colleges and universities, libraries and museums to
extend new technologies, applications and advanced content to all
educational sectors across the country. Through the Initiative, K20 students
now have access to world-class learning experiences like master music
classes taught by world-renowned musicians using DVD-quality
videoconferencing or science experiments with advanced electron microscopes
found at research labs using remote imaging instruments. Students also
participate in programs, like Megaconference Jr., a project that brings
together thousands of students in elementary and secondary schools from
around the world using advanced multi-point video-conferencing.

Internet2 members and partners attending the Internet2 Spring Member Meeting
in Arlington, VA are encouraged to attend the Internet2 K20 Initiative
Meeting on Monday, April 21, 2008 to learn more about the initiative, its
resources and to participate in discussions about how to expand or
participate in the program. Session details can be found here:

About the Internet2 K20 Initiative
The Internet2 K20 Initiative is intended to allow expanded access to the
Internet2 Network for state and regional education networks, through
sponsorship by Internet2 university members. State and regional networks may
include nonprofit and for-profit K20 educational institutions, museums,
libraries, art galleries, or hospitals that require routine collaboration on
instructional, clinical and/or research projects, services and content with
Internet2 members or with other sponsored participants. The program began in
early 2001 and has since connected 38 state K20 networks. Visit

Lauren Rotman



  • Internet2 K20 Initiative Launches Social Networking Site for Faculty, Administrators and Students, Lauren Rotman, 04/15/2008

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