September 7, 2000


The September 7, 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; James Bodensteiner, Board of Regents; Paul Bowers, IAICU; Merv Cronbaugh, IACCT; Larry Sigel for Mary Gannon, IASB; John Hartung, IAICU; Connie Maxson, SAI; David Montgomery, DE/CIANS; Kathryn O'Shaughnessy, ISEA; Pam Pfitzenmaier, IPTV; Kay Runge, DE/Libraries; and Mary Travillian, AEA Boards. Dean Borg, IASB; Gene Gardner, IACCT; Gary Hayden, AEA Boards; Mickn Starcevich, SAI; and Gail Sullivan, DE, were absent.

The following visitors were also present: John Haack, RTC 10; Linda Abel, RTC 15; Chuck Chrisman, RTC 16; Roger Rezabek, RTC 7; Winston Black and Randy Mead, RTC 11; Ellen Kabat Lensch, RTC 9; Kitty Conover, RTC 3; Dennis Eitmann, RTC 13; Lynee Klaus, RTC 11; Kathy Williams, ICN; Jim Sutton, ISEA; Doug Wulf, Legislative Fiscal Bureau; John O'Connell, Dept. of Ed; Rich Varn, ITC; Lisa Albers, Gwen Nagel, Kathy Borlin, and Debbie Fiscus, IPTV.


II.A. Video Scheduling Policies

II.A.1. Existing ITTC Session Cancellation Policy Recommendation

Paul Bowers opened this discussion concerning the current ITTC policy regarding ICN video session cancellations. Paul has had discussions with staff at the ICN about this policy and whether the current policy or a revised policy is needed at this time. Since the policy is one established by the ITTC, the ETC does not have the ability to change it. However, since the ITTC policy directly affects educational users of the ICN video classrooms, the ETC and its members may wish to recommend a change to the ICN staff and the ITTC commissioners.

The current policy has created confusion with end users. It is not consistent with the "on demand" scheduling procedures. The viewpoint was also expressed that while such a cancellation policy may have been needed years ago, users have become more experienced and wholesale cancellations of sessions are rare. End users expressed that the current policy is cumbersome for all involved.

Paul's recommendation to ETC members was that the ITTC terminate the existing video session cancellation/credit policy. A newly worded policy would be drafted in conjunction with ICN staff to include needed elements, especially ones that would be consistent with "on demand" scheduling procedures. Such policy would be readily understood by end users and ICN staff and would avoid cumbersome "credits" for cancelled sessions. Discussion followed and a motion was made:


Robert Barak moved to accept Paul Bowers' recommendation to the ITTC that the current ICN cancellation policy be terminated and that the Operations Committee continue to work with the ICN to draft language concerning the credit portion of the policy. Pam Pfitzenmaier seconded.

Ayes--13, Nays--0, Not Voting--0; Absent--5. Motion passed unanimously.

II.A.2. Update on Support Materials Sent to Regional Contacts

Pam Pfitzenmaier updated members on a mailing approved by ETC members at the June ETC meeting. The mailing was sent to RTC Coordinators for them to forward to K-12 administrators and included the following:

a). a memo outlining the procedure for reserving a "no transmit" for spring 2001 semester;

b). ICN scheduling deadlines for spring (the deadlines' document was "cleaned up" to be more understandable by schedulers and end users alike);

c). a list of regional schedulers and RTC coordinators.

Following a discussion of the members, it was decided that this information (including a note reminding the site contacts about room accessibility) will be sent prior to spring and fall semester scheduling deadlines.

Although not directly related to ICN scheduling deadlines, members also recommended that a "year at a glance" calendar will be designed for the members that will show in detail what issues/items will need attention at each ETC meeting in the future.

Contact Pam or Debbie if you have any comments about the above materials.

II.B. RTC Funding Study: Ad Hoc Committee Report

Al Bode apprised members of the outcome of the ad hoc committee meeting on RTC funding that was held on August 7, 2000. At that meeting it was decided to: 1) extend the due date for RTC final evaluation reports to October 31, 2000, (instead of August 31) to allow them time to pull together more detailed data on the activities of their RTC. A draft of the report format and types of data to be collected will be sent to each RTC coordinator/chair for feedback; 2) set up a meeting of individuals in all regions who work closely with K-12 districts in regional academy activities and coordination of K-12 class/course sharing; and 3) set up a meeting and/or communication with educational lobbyists concerning the data collected from the RTC evaluation annual reports. The meeting with lobbyists will be conducted via ICN once the November election is held.


Connie Maxson moved to accept the RTC Evaluation Report outline detailing the data to be collected for FY00 and FY01. Mary Travillian seconded, with a friendly amendment to change the title of the report to Annual RTC Activities/Use Report. Discussion followed.

Ayes--13, Nays--0, Not Voting--0, Absent--5. Motion passed unanimously.

Further information about this meeting can be found in the subcommittee notes of August 7, 2000.

II.C. K-12 Use Ad Hoc Committee Report

Pam Pfitzenmaier gave an overview of the meeting held on August 15 of the K-12 Use Ad Hoc Committee. Members of this committee include Al Bode, Pam Pfitzenmaier, Lynee Klaus, Jim Christensen, Jim Bodensteiner, Kathy Guilgot, Darlas Shockley, and Linda Abel. Lynee, Jim C., Kathy G., and Linda A. described their activities in working with K-12 districts.

Pam also summarized 2 activities that coincide with the K-12 use study--the regional academies project and a data gathering process of contacting a selected number of school administrators to determine current status of course/class sharing and impending teacher shortage areas. Discussion followed.

Further information about this meeting can be found in the subcommittee notes of August 15, 2000.

NOTE: A memo was sent on September 16, 2000, to K-12 superintendents, AEA administrators, and presidents at the community colleges, independent colleges, and regent universities concerning the regional academies project and grant. Details of the grant can be found at under the "grants" section.


III.A. 21st Century Infrastructure and ITC Work

Rich Varn provided members with a one-page document summary about Phase 1 of the 21st Century Learning Infrastructure Project and gave an overview of the plans to date. Discussion followed. For further information concerning the Infrastructure project, contact Rich Varn at

III.B. Video Rates and ETC Input to ITTC

The ITTC held the rate hearing in August that included written input from the ETC and Kirkwood CC, and an oral presentation by Jim Sutton of ISEA and Roger Rezabek of Hawkeye CC. There was no decision made by the ITTC at the August meeting. Action on video rates for July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, will need to be taken at the September ITTC meeting.

III.C. Upcoming Legislative Oversight Committee Meeting on September 19, 2000.

Kathryn O'Shaughnessy will be attending the oversight committee as the ETC representative concerning video rates. She will be providing historical information concerning the ETC's viewpoint/stand on ICN video rates to the oversight committee. Discussion followed.

III.D. Preview of New Video

IPTV has produced a new version of the utilization video titled, "Window to the World," highlighting the impact of distance learning via the ICN as it relates to the Star Schools grant. This video will be sent to ETC members and RTC Coordinators/Chairs in mid-October for their utilization efforts. It was also suggested that the video be sent to all legislators who could view it and, if desired, donate it to their public library.


It was discussed at this meeting to change the meeting time for the upcoming December meeting from a 6-hour meeting of 9am-3pm to a 4-hour meeting of 9am-1pm or 10am-2pm, working through the lunch hour.


The September 7, 2000, meeting of the Education Telecommunications Council adjourned at 2:15 p.m. The next meeting of the ETC is December 14, 2000, at Iowa Public Television.


Education Telecommunications Council Minutes
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