MARCH 17, 2000


The March 17, 2000, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council was held at Iowa Public Television and various ICN sites. The following members were present: Robert Barak, Board of Regents; Al Bode, ISEA; Dean Borg, IASB; Paul Bowers, IAICU; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Mary Gannon, IASB; Ron Ellis for John Hartung, IAICU; Connie Maxson, SAI; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, ISEA; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Mick Starcevich, SAI; Mary Travillian, AEA Boards; and Rich Gross, exofficio. Gene Gardner, IACCT; John Hartung, IAICU; Gary Hayden, AEA Boards; Kay Runge, DE/Libraries; Gail Sullivan, DE; and Emmett Vaughan, Board of Regents were absent.

The following guests also attended: Lynee Klaus, AEA 11; Jane Herrmann and Winston Black, RTC 11; Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; Stacy McConahay and Julie Burrell, RTC 14; Jim Sutton, ISEA; Timothy LaPointe, ITTC; Karen Lombard, RTC 5; Ken Colwell, St. Ambrose University; John Haack, RTC 10; Julie Thomas, Region 6 scheduler; Kitty Conover, RTC 3; Rich Varn, ITS; Jan McMahill, Drake University/USDLA; Bruce McKee, RTC 2; Darlas Shockley and Linda Abel, RTC 15; Wayne Prophet, University of Iowa; Mike Bacino, ICN; Jeannie Campbell, Kathy Borlin, and Debbie Fiscus, IPTV.


IIA. Legislative Update

Tami Fujinaka updated members concerning the status of the Oversight appropriations bill (SF2433) that contains the appropriation for the ICN (video subsidy, Part III leases, debt payment, ATM upgrade, RTC funding). Members discussed concerns they have if the appropriations remain at the level proposed by the current version of the bill.

Members also discussed the status of the Education appropriations bill (HF 2549) as well as other education/technology related bills (SSB 3219, HF 2496, SF 2238).

Rich Varn updated members concerning the status of the IT department bill (SF 2395). Rich expressed concern that the bill does not follow the recommendations put forward by the Transition Team and their consultants.

Rich Varn also updated members on the status of the ITS Request for Information and asked the ETC to volunteer to help process the responses to the RFI and to assist in development of a Request for Proposals.

IIB. Update from Ad Hoc committee on assessing elementary and middle school telecommunications needs (Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, Al Bode, Gary Hayden, David Montgomery, Connie Maxson, Gail Sullivan, Rich Gross, Pam Pfitzenmaier)

Kathryn O'Shaughnessy updated members of the outcome of a pilot "listening" meeting between the Ad Hoc committee and members of the Shenandoah School District. Connie Maxson and various members of her elementary staff volunteered to be a pilot site for the Technology Scenarios Survey and to assist in refining the survey and listening process. Another pilot "listening" meeting will be set up for the Mount Vernon School District in the near future. The plans are to begin interviews with elementary schools this spring, middle schools in the fall and possibly high schools immediately following. It was mentioned that if the process continues to higher education that the survey instrument and process will need to be greatly revised.

IIC. What's New?

Dean Borg provided a videoclip produced by the University of Iowa that was broadcast during halftime of a recent University of Iowa basketball game. The video featured Emmett Vaughan and focused on the educational uses of the ICN in serving students at a distance.

The K-12 Connections project of the Educational Telecommunications Division at Iowa Public Television provided a videoclip of an elementary school ICN session they produced in partnership with the Civic Center in Des Moines highlighting the Chuck Davis Dance Workshop.

Kurt Plagge, IPTV, previewed the Distance Learning Catalog sponsored by the Iowa Coordinating Council for Post High School Education. This new website lists Iowa college/university distance learning offerings and will be available on the Web at in early May. Higher education staff at various Iowa colleges and universities are in the process of inputting course information at this time.

IID. Approval of Scheduling Deadlines for 2001

The members approved the ICN Educational Video Scheduling Deadlines for 2001. The following motion was made:


Robert Barak moved to approve the 2001 scheduling deadlines as submitted. Mary Travillian seconded. Motion passed unanimously.

Ayes--12, Nay--0, Not Voting--0, Absent--6.

IIE. Updates

Rich Gross is serving as writer/editor of a monthly update to ETC members and RTC coordinators/chairs to aid in their understanding of the technical aspects of ICN issues. Because of the positive feedback received so far concerning the monthly update, Rich has agreed to continue providing this written update.

Mike Bacino, ICN, provided information concerning problems associated with the Internet. He shared that PSI Net has agreed to make technical upgrades and modifications to their Internet gateway. Mike shared that Internet connectivity should be noticeably improved immediately. For further information concerning the Internet problems, contact Mike at 515/323-1800.

Discussion followed.

Mike also shared that the ICN schedulers are using VOSS software at this time even though it is not totally perfect. ICN staff members expect Todd to continue working on the "bugs" and needed end user enhancements until it meets user expectations.

The ETC has agreed to accept the TIE subcommittee report concerning ATM/MPEG II codecs and notification of the acceptance of the report will be sent to the ICN and ITTC.

ETC members agreed to submit their responses to the RFI from the IT Division of General Services concerning the 21st Century Learning Infrastructure Initiative. Dean Borg and Rich Gross edited the comments of the ETC members. The edited comments will be forwarded to Darrell Fremont at IT.

IIF. Recommendations From ETC Executive Committee.

A poll of 5 questions was sent to members and RTC chairs/coordinators concerning the future roles of the ETC. A suggestion was made to add two additional questions: 6). Define a process to rotate the Chair and co-Chair positions; 7) Define a process to rotate positions on the Executive Committee. Discussion followed. Poll responses will be compiled and action will be taken at the April meeting.

IIG. Comments From Members and Guests

Roger Rezabek informed members about the IACON 2000 Conference to be held April 27-28, 2000, at the Hotel Fort Des Moines. It is a joint effort of the IDLA, IACT, and IREN. Information about this conference and registration can be found on the Web at

Bruce McKee updated members concerning the technology partnership project for community colleges and AEAs in Iowa. This project allows community colleges and AEAs in Iowa to participate in technology training for K-12 teachers and staff. A $1.5 million grant from the USDE provides the funding for this project until December 31, 2000. For more information contact Bruce at

Dean Borg provided information concerning a FINE award that College Community Schools received. For more information, contact Mick Starcevich at College Community Schools in Cedar Rapids.

Jan McMahill of Drake University informed members about a national award that one of their distance learning courses received.

IIH. Chapter 7 Site Fee Clarification

A request was made by a regional scheduler that the ETC consider making a recommendation to the ITTC to clarify part of Chapter 7 Administrative Rules concerning site fees in the case of a session being canceled. The ETC operations committee has been given the task to draft a recommendation. Please contact Paul Bowers at with suggestions concerning this recommendation.


The March 17, 2000, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 11:30am. The next meeting of the ETC will be April 17, 2000, at Iowa Public Television.


Education Telecommunications Council Minutes
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