December 14, 2000


The December 14, 2000, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council was held at Iowa Public Television and various ICN sites. The following members were present: Chet Rzonka for Robert Barak, Board of Regents; Al Bode, ISEA; James Bodensteiner, Board of Regents; Paul Bowers, IAICU; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Mary Gannon, IASB; John Hartung, IAICU; Gary Hayden, AEA Boards; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Gail Sullivan, DE: Tim Graham for Mary Travillian, AEA Boards and Rich Gross, Exofficio. Dean Borg, IASB; Gene Gardner, IACCT; Connie Maxson, SAI; Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, ISEA; Kay Runge, DE/Libraries; and Mick Starcevich, SAI, were absent.

The following visitors were also present: Mike Bacino and Tami Fujinaka, ICN; John Haack, RTC 10; Winston Black, RTC 11; Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; Dana Rosenberg, EICCD; Kitty Conover, RTC 3; Stacy McConahay, RTC 14; Julie Thomas, RTC 6; Rebecca Hannum RTC 16,and Debbie Fiscus and Kathy Borlin, IPTV.


II.A. Spring 2000 Semester Enrollment in Classes Offered via ICN

Dana Rosenberg gave an overview of the Spring 2000 enrollment in classes offered via the ICN and provided members with a copy of the final report, "ICN Spring 2000 Educational Classes Survey." Discussion followed.

Following a discussion it was suggested that a data collection work group/committee be formed and a call for volunteers was sent out. Those who volunteered at this meeting were Pam Pfitzenmaier (committee head), Dana Rosenberg, Jim Bodensteiner representing the Regent institutions, Roger Rezabek and John Haack representing the community colleges, John Hartung representing the independents, and Mary Gannon representing the K-12s, and Mary Travillian representing the AEAs (per Tim Graham). The committee is to meet and develop a revised survey to be used for data collection of fall semester 2000 and spring semester 2001.

II.B. Draft Memo Concerning Annual Equipment Replacement Budget for Local ICN Sites

Pam Pfitzenmaier opened the discussion with a draft document, "Budgeting for Distance Learning Classrooms," that is nearly identical to a document that was sent to RTCs in January last year for distribution to the educational sites in their regions. This document outlines for ICN educational sites the amount of funds they should plan to budget every year to replace and upgrade equipment in the ICN video classroom(s) in their institution. Pam asked the IPTV engineers to review the draft document to insure that the dollar figures are still accurate for budgeting purposes. The purpose of the document is to apprise educational sites of equipment repair/replacement costs so they budget for funds on a yearly basis. Discussion followed and a motion was made...


Pam Pfitzenmaier moved that the ETC approve the distribution of the "Budgeting for Distance Learning Classrooms" document to educational sites via the RTCs each year with update changes as needed. Gary Hayden seconded.

Ayes-11, Nays-0, Not voting-1, Absent-6. Motion passed.

II.C. ETC Process for Resolving ICN Educational Scheduling Conflicts

Mary Gannon, as chair of the ad hoc committee working on clarifying the policy for ETC solution of scheduling conflicts, stated that committee work on this issue is in progress and there was no further status report at this time. The committee will continue to work on pulling together policy documents and combining pieces of those documents to form a draft for resolving scheduling conflicts at the ETC level.

II.D. 21st Century Initiative

Rich Gross and Paul Bowers provided an update on the 21st Century Initiative. There are currently two major components under the 21st Century umbrella:

  1. The 21st Century Learning Infrastructure pilot project coordinated by UNI in cooperation with 3 area education agencies. This component focuses on mathematics instruction and content at the K-12 level and different ways of packaging and delivering math content. Marilyn Drury at UNI coordinates the pilot project.

  2. The "infrastructure" portion of the project. Paul Bowers and Rich Gross are working with the ETC on this component of the project. An in-depth presentation on this component was given to ETC members at the special ETC meeting held in October. Materials from that discussion were sent to ETC members. For more information about this project, contact Rich Gross ( or Paul Bowers (

II.E. Discussion of Draft Report: ICN Report to Legislative Oversight Committee

Tami Fujinaka of the ICN reviewed a draft document from the ICN staff that is to be presented to the Legislative Oversight Committee. Tami asked that any proposed changes or suggestions/revisions be submitted to her by December 12. A copy of the draft document was provided to members. Tami can be contacted at


III.F. VOSS Scheduling Software Update

Mike Bacino updated the members concerning the VOSS scheduling system. They plan to replace the VOSS scheduling software servers during the Christmas holiday break. This replacement is designed to improve the performance of the VOSS software for both schedulers and end user.

Mike also informed the members that the ICN has contracted with a company to develop software that will pull together needed data for the reports needed, especially to pre-populate the survey forms used by educational schedulers in completing information concerning enrollments in ICN classes. Discussion followed.

Following discussion about the need for increased communication, it was determined that the ETC Core Group meetings will once again take place on a monthly basis. Date and time has not been determined as yet for the next meeting.

III.G. RTC Annual Report Template

Pam Pfitzenmaier and Kathy Borlin previewed the draft RTC Annual Report Template document, highlighting expectations for the RTC annual report. Earlier in the fall, an ICN session was held and several RTC members provided feedback concerning this document. The TIE group will provide the descriptions and categories for the support of ICN video classrooms. The AEA Media Directors will provide the descriptions and categories for the LAN/WAN/Internet support. The RTC Coordinators and schedulers have already revised the document. The final document will be placed on the Iowa Database by late summer of 2001 (The final report is due in August each year). Discussion followed.

The following motion was made concerning the draft RTC Annual Report Template:


Pam Pfitzenmaier moved that the ETC accept the draft template with editing changes. Gail Sullivan seconded.

Ayes-12, Nays-0, Not voting-0, Absent-6. Motion passed unanimously.

III.H. ETC/RTC Month-by-Month Planning Calendar

Pam Pfitzenmaier presented a draft month-by-month planning calendar of ETC/RTC activities each year. A couple of changes were noted in this meeting--1) RTC plans for FY 2003 are due to IPTV in August, not October as noted on draft; 2) the calendar year will begin with July, as in fiscal year calendars. ETC members agreed to accept this calendar as a living document to be edited as needed.

III.I. E-Rate Update

Pam Pfitzenmaier updated members on the status of E-rate. Applications for Year 4 (July 01-June 02) are being submitted now. Pam and Rich Gross work closely with Schools and Libraries Division, acting as resources to Iowa schools and libraries and are the central points of contact for Iowa. The Area Education Agencies provide direct support to the schools in their area in filing for e-rate.

III.J. Star Schools Update

Pam Pfitzenmaier provided an update on the Star Schools Connectivity Site Contract Application grants for K-8 buildings in Iowa. 596 applications for a total of nearly $26m in funds were requested. Each K-8 public school building could request up to $50k. Total funds available for the project were nearly $3m. There were 75 readers who participated in reviewing the applications on November 14. A total of 160 applications were funded, some at the full amount of $50k. Other applications were funded at less than the requested amount. A complete list of the schools funded as well as a press release from Senator Harkin announcing those winners can be found on the Iowa Database (This document was mailed to ETC members prior to the meeting.)

III.K. Regional Academies Update

Pam Pfitzenmaier provided yet another update, this time on the Regional High School Academies project. This activity was funded by the 2000 General Assembly for pilot regional academies for high school students. There were 29 applications submitted for funding, of which the top 15 were funded at $10,000 per application. A document listing this information was provided to members prior to the meeting.


The December 14, 2000, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 12:14 p.m. The next meeting of the ETC will be March 15, 2001, at Iowa Public Television.


Education Telecommunications Council Minutes
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