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Center for Advanced Educational Services at MIT Offers Distributed Learning to Schools

Lecture at Lexington High School inaugurates new program

CAMBRIDGE--For years, engineers in the workplace have relied on films and videotapes produced by MIT's Center for Advanced Educational Services (CAES) to keep up with what's happening at the leading edge of their world.

Now, high school students can also look to the CAES--using the World Wide Web.

The CAES has announced a new program that combines presentations by MIT professors during regular high school classes, and an opportunity for follow-up activities in the days after the lecture using the World Wide Web.

The new program began Feb. 29 when Professor Arnold I. Barnett, whose statistical studies of crime, air travel and Vietnam War service have drawn international attention, lectured to a Lexington High School class about the "uses and abuses" of statistics as presented in the news media. Professor Barnett addressed the "Global Civilizations" class, and the lecture was recorded for editing and distribution to other high schools.

Professor Richard C. Larson, the CAES director, said, "This short form video will be partnered with a designated URL so students can send homework, submit questions and find reference to other WWW link. It's a new form of Cliff notes."

The server is part of MIT's Networked Multimedia Information Services (NMIS) project based in the CAES and funded by the National Science Foundation. One of the NMIS functions is to create indexed video databases, aimed at K-12, and distribute the content via the WWW. The NMIS server includes MPEG compressed video segments, a full text of the audio track of each video, teacher's guides and a search engine. One of these high speed links has been established with Lexington High School.

The new program offering is the first in a series of CAES K-12 initiatives. For more information contact Tracy Pierce , or at 617-253-5472.

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