Comcast Corporation today announced that Forsyth County Schools, one of the largest school systems in Georgia, is using Comcast Ethernet Services to support streaming video, interactive whiteboards, mobile devices and digital content.
Forsyth County Schools has implemented a number of innovative technology initiatives to enhance teaching, expand learning and reduce costs -- initiatives which are often bandwidth-intensive and require a high-performance network. Comcast's Ethernet Services provide secure, point-to-point connectivity, as well as file sharing and document storage via the district's central server.
The district is designing and implementing a next-generation learning system to provide individualized technology-based learning plans to match each student's specific needs, preferences and performance. The customized delivery of learning resources takes into account learning interests and learning style in order to increase student engagement and academic performance. Students can learn at home on their own, or at school, using a high-speed Internet connection.
Initiatives such as "Bring Your Own Technology" (BYOT) and the NOBLE Virtual World project at Forsyth County Schools help facilitate collaboration and immersive learning techniques to engage students in more authentic ways. With BYOT growing at a rate of 80 percent at Forsyth County Schools, students are able to use their individual Internet-capable tablets, laptops, netbooks and cell phones to work in classrooms in the way they like best.
"Bandwidth is the key. The only way to have access to all that digital content is to connect the technology and infrastructure in support of it," said Bailey Mitchell, chief technology and information officer for Forsyth County Schools. "Our network infrastructure investment is a 'return on learning' and Comcast gives us the ability to scale bandwidth as the demand presents itself. My view is that every time you increase the speed of the network, you are enabling incredible educational opportunities."
Forsyth County Schools has also seen a return on financial investment. Having spent $2.8 million on textbooks in 2008, the school has been able to cut down those costs to $400,000 with interactive online content in the form of streaming video, simulations and digital content.
Forsyth County Schools serve 38,000 students in 35 elementary, middle and high schools across 181 districts in Georgia. In addition to having the highest CRCT and ACT scores in Georgia, Forsyth County Schools also has some of the highest SAT scores in the state, which are also above national averages.