Broadly Speaking

In this month's Broadly Speaking, we chat with Debra Marton, the Education Project Coordinator for AT&T Cable Services and a 19-year veteran of the cable industry. She helps to explain what broadband technology is and where it fits in the classroom of today and of tomorrow.

T.H.E.: What is broadband technology and what d'es it encompass?

Marton: Broadband technology is high-speed Internet service, cable service and local and long-distance phone service over cable. With broadband technology, the classroom can provide students with a vast amount of resources. Information gathering is much faster, Internet access is always available, and visual support in the classroom is readily available.

T.H.E.: What d'es broadband technology mean for education? Why is it important?

Marton: Broadband technology as it relates to education means enhanced learning. Extensive information resources, high-speed Internet access and an array of educational cable programs and materials enable teachers to expand their horizons outside the traditional classroom. With high-speed access, the Internet is always available to students and teachers. This decreases down time, which leads to increased levels of student interest. Educational cable programs developed for teachers bring 540 hours of eye-catching information to the classroom. Fresh and exciting educational material enhance teacher lesson plans to develop the visual student.

T.H.E.: What sorts of things can educators look forward to in the broadband-enabled classroom of the next few years?

Marton: Broadband-enabled classrooms will bring all people together through the ease of communication it will create. Communication through wireless and long distance phone service, cable television, high-speed cable modem Internet access, virtual workshops, electronic fieldtrips, long distance learning, complex graphic and online slide presentations are all enhanced features of broadband technology. The use of broadband technology in schools will provide students an equal advantage in preparing for the 21st century.


This article originally appeared in the 10/01/1999 issue of THE Journal.