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NRENs in National Development Strategies Robert Horvitz Manager, Central/Eastern Europe GLOBAL INTERNET POLICY INITIATIVE (GIPI)  NATO/CEENet Network Administration Workshop 22-25 September 2002 ZAGREB, CROATIA Main Points NRENs’ environment is changing, rapidly and drastically.

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nrens in national development strategies

NRENs in National Development Strategies

Robert Horvitz

Manager, Central/Eastern Europe


NATO/CEENet Network Administration Workshop

22-25 September 2002


main points
Main Points
  • NRENs’ environment is changing, rapidly and drastically.
  • Most NRENs are not prepared, and not are responding.
  • You must overcome a very narrow vision of your role.
  • Think about what learning will probably be like in 5-10 years.
  • Start working to help make it happen.
esee ministerial conference ljubljana 3 4 june 2002







Serbia & Montenegro


eSEE Ministerial ConferenceLjubljana, 3-4 June 2002


eeurope commitments
  • Rapid introduction of new legal & policy framework to promote Information Society
      • Particularly in telecommunications
  • Improve the region’s capability for using ICTs to achieve better governance, economic development, social cohesion, and cultural diversity
eeurope commitments5
  • Closely cooperate to integrate the region into the global knowledge-based economy
  • Adopt “national Information Society strategies,” policies & action plans (based on eEurope++), with clear goals, responsibilities & implementation timelines


  • Governments “will aim to prepare an ambitious [regional] eSEE AGENDA”
  • Agreement on agenda by the end of October 2002
croatia in the 21st century ict strategy
“Croatia in the 21st Century: ICT strategy”
  • In English:
  • In Croatian:
    • 200112060000001
croatia21 ict
Croatia21 - ICT
  • Emphasis on:
  • Business/economic uses and benefits
  • Integrating NRENs into public life
  • ...breaking down boundaries between universities and “learning situations” in general.
croatia21 ict9
Croatia21 - ICT
  • Recommendation 9:
  • “Among its prioritized development direc-tions in the economy, the Republic of Croatia should put on the first place the information and communication tech-nology, with the accent on software and direction toward network applications...”
croatia21 ict10
Croatia21 - ICT
  • “Education, research and development are the foundations of the forthcoming information society... The education system must wake the interest of students for independent studying and enable them for constant lifelong learning...”
croatia21 ict11
Croatia21 - ICT
  • “free Internet connection and use for all schools” (initially, dial-up and ISDN)
  • “...programs for equipping the schools should be directed towards shared use of infrastructures with local communities...”
  • “public access points in schools...”
  • ICT classes for adults offered in all local schools
croatia21 ict12
Croatia21 - ICT
  • Connect CARNet “with the most advanced European infrastructures of the same kind”
  • Research new ICT infrastructures “based on radically new principles of distributed computing and communications, in order to make them omnipresent, movable and scalable...”
croatia21 ict13
Croatia21 - ICT
  • Education reform at the university level to increase the number of graduates qualified to work professionally in ICT management and R&D to 1000/year through 2005.
  • Institutions of higher learning should help train all teachers in ICTs.
croatia21 ict14
Croatia21 - ICT
  • All universities should propose new courses for delivery via ICTs, as well as new courses about ICTs
  • “It is recommended that the universities that educate experts for the area of information and communication tech-nology include ethics in their curricula...”
croatia21 ict15
Croatia21 - ICT
  • lift import duties on ICTs for personal and educational use
  • tax benefits for all ICT firms providing “quality programs for permanent education of their employees”
croatia21 ict16
Croatia21 - ICT
  • “Research, development and introduction of technical protection against illegal and offensive Internet content [and] education on dangers of Internet use...”
  • “make all information and communication traffic with origin and destination in Croatia, as well as transit traffic, subject to Croatian legislation...”
  • It is wrong to think of NREN development as simply a technical matter...
  • ...or as determined solely by existing practices at existing institutions.
  • NREN management will increasingly involve content packaging, training...
  • ...and lobbying.
canada s philosophy
Canada’s philosophy
  • “Community broadband networks, provincial networking initiatives and national research backbone networks, are all part of the same continuum of providing a national innovation infrastructure. In the future, research, education and innovation will not be solely a product of universities and research centers...”
nren futures
NREN Futures
  • Quantitative change
  • channel speed
  • number of nodes
  • geographic coverage & reach
  • Qualitative change
  • role & purpose of networking
  • Relations among users
  • organization and style of learning
scenario 1
Scenario 1
  • Universities gradually expand course offerings to older, non-resident, part-time students and alumni
      • “Distance Education” and “Life-long Learning”
  • Face-to-face, speech- and book-oriented education is gradually replaced by pre-recorded streaming multimedia, online discussions (IRC, BBS) and email
scenario 121
Scenario 1
  • BENEFITS: educate more people, reach isolated and rural populations
  • RISKS: increased competition between institutions for same learners
    • may force teachers to become “edutainers” rather than scholars
    • Competition  commercialization
    • Potential “popularity” and “salability” become main criteria for course development
alliance for lifelong learning
Alliance for Lifelong Learning
  • A partnership among...
          • Stanford University
          • Yale University
          • Oxford University
  • “Knowledge is forever. Get some today.”
alliance for lifelong learning23
Alliance for Lifelong Learning
  • 50+ courses, each 5-10 weeks long
    • Study 5-7 hours/week: reading, writing, chat, streaming multimedia, subject-threaded BBS
  • $249 per course plus “materials” fee
    • Pay by credit card, no degree credit
  • Traditional “liberal arts” content, but limited to subjects intended to be attractive/popular:
    • “Understanding Beethoven”
    • “The American Civil War”
    • “Why Smart People do Stupid Things”
alliance for lifelong learning24
Alliance for Lifelong Learning
  • “...It’s like the campus of your dreams: courses you want to study developed by world-class educators and designed to accommodate your busy lifestyle...”
  • “You don’t go to class. The class comes to you... Wherever. Whenever.”
  • Students simultaneously enrolled in courses offered by different institutions
    • need a “trans-institutional online identity”
    • and a new kind of admissions policy
    • “a degree from which university”?
  • “Disintermediation” of education
    • student-assembled programs of study
    • different institutions provide separate elements: lodging, classroom/lab experience, online courses, testing, accreditation, alumni tracking & solicitations
scenario 2
Scenario 2
  • The “study group” emerges as the primary unit of education
    • Face-to-face, discussion centered
  • Group members choose courses and media from multiple sources, learn together as a team
  • University persists as a “home base” for excursions into the “sea of knowledge”
scenario 227
Scenario 2
    • “User-controlled” learning is more effective - and better retained - than “teacher-controlled” learning
    • Enables flexible optimization of F2F, remote and on-demand channels
    • Promotes social/productivity skills useful later in work
  • RISKS:
    • Individual knowledge will probably be incomplete
    • Lack of discipline?
    • Teaching profession further downgraded
  • Students chose a university for its facilities rather than its faculties
  • “Learning guides” (mentors and resource lists) become crucial
  • Admissions a more complex task
    • – selection of groups rather than individuals?
  • Competition between study-groups an important source of discipline & comparison
    • need to rethink rewards/penalties, use of grades
tension between
  • NREN as “portal”?
  • vs.
  • NREN as “infrastructure”
thanks for listening
  • Robert Horvitz