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Frequently Asked Questions


What is TETN Plus?

The Texas Education Telecommunications Network (TETN) is changing. In simple terms, the traditional network is being replaced with high-speed broadband connections among the Education Service Centers and new services are being added beyond video conferencing. School districts that are members of their ESC regional network will have access to the statewide education intranet and the new services including 21st Century applications, tools and digital resources. ESCs are joining TETN Plus when they are ready to offer new services beyond video conferencing to their schools. Contact your local ESC to learn whether they are a member of TETN Plus.

What is videoconferencing and what can it do for me?

Videoconferencing enables live, interactive audio/video communication between two or more locations. Videoconferencing is not just two-way television. It is an interactive medium. TETN promotes this visual opportunity by bringing people "face-to-face" in live interactive sessions over long distances.

TETN connects the 20 Education Service Center networks and their 800 plus school districts with video capability. It is technically feasible to connect all sites in one conference, but policy restricts a maximum of five interactive sites per ESC in a conference (maximum of 100 interactive sites). On occasion, TETN will host a conference with over 700 people in attendance who are located in all parts of the State.

Can videoconferencing help teachers and administrative staff?

Yes. K-12 educators are using the statewide TETN videoconferencing system right now, saving valuable time and money in travel. Here are some of the recent TETN VIDEOCONFERENCE subjects:

  • Administrative Meetings
  • Dual-credit Courses
  • High School Courses
  • Electronic Field Trips
  • Professional Development classes
  • Legislative & Policy Updates
  • Public Hearings on Commissioner rules
  • Peer Collaboration (e.g. special education specialists)

How can videoconferencing help students?

Imagine several classrooms participating in a large group project. Specialized teachers or special guests can host a class from a distant site. Electronic field trips help students see and experience live events from their classrooms. The technology is growing and so is the effectiveness of education through videoconferencing.

What features/benefits are available with TETN?

  • Multipoint, statewide videoconferences among ESCs and their school districts
  • Connectivity between content providers and school districts for dual-credit and high school courses, & electronic field trips
  • Special projects such as master degree classes and professional development workshops
  • Connectivity to Internet2 sites

How often is TETN used and does it save money?

Each year TETN saves TEA and the ESCs over $2 million in travel costs alone. This conservative cost savings does not include the intangible benefits of allowing staffers to receive first-hand information and training. Over 500 statewide conferences and 900 classes are held each year on TETN. The usage numbers continue to increase year-by-year as school districts adopt videoconferencing for curriculum-enhanced activities, school board training, collaborative projects, and as a means to address teacher shortages in core academic areas.

Who can use TETN?

The TETN system is reserved for educational use only. Any public or private education group is eligible, including primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and universities. Educational organizations, such as PTAs, school boards and professional education related groups may also use TETN.

How can I request the use of the TETN system?

Contact the TETN Site Manager or distance learning coordinator at your local education service center for further information and system/site availability.


 

 

Texas Education Telecommunications Network 2011