WEN Video

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“In October 1993, four of Wyoming’s larger school districts and the Wyoming Education Association sued the State of Wyoming, asserting that the state’s formula for funding public schools was unconstitutional. An initial district court decision partially upheld the state formula, but in November 1995, the Wyoming Supreme Court, in Campbell County v. State, 907 P.2d 1238 (Wyo. 1995), unanimously struck down the entire system for funding public schools. The Court directed the Legislature to define the “basket” of education every Wyoming child should receive regardless of geographic location. In addition, the delivery system must allow for change over time, as the proper education is not a static concept, and must also include adequate physical facilities.”

The Legislature included in their model significant funding and incentives for implementation of the Wyoming Education Technology Plan. The Plan provides a structure for implementing and integrating technology into educational programs, with data connectivity between all schools to be accomplished as of July 1, 1999, and interactive two-way video capability within all high schools by July 1, 2001.

The Wyoming Equality Network (WEN) was developed, which provides the data connectivity to all schools in Wyoming. The WEN Video was then implemented and is a component of the WEN. Original equipment installed in 1999 included Tandberg Educator 5000 systems that communicated over dedicated Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN) lines throughout the state. With the increase in availability in the Internet Protocol (IP), in 2006 a new process began to upgrade the WEN Video equipment which will widen the opportunity of educational experiences and decrease cost. New Tandberg MXP based IP Video units began deployment to the school districts in November of 2006. In addition, a new scheduling system called Tandberg Management Suite and new Tandberg Bridges and components were added to the network to include the Tandberg Streaming Content Server and Tandberg See and Share Server to provide our students across Wyoming various opportunities for distance education and classroom enhancement. This complete upgrade meets the requirement from the Legislature in that “the delivery system must allow for change over time, as the proper education is not a static concept.”

There are now over 100 WEN Video locations throughout the state of Wyoming with locations at all Wyoming high schools, community colleges, the University, and the Wyoming Department of Education administration offices.

Chris Christenson, Wyoming Education Association, WYOMING, National Center for Educational Statistics, http://nces.ed.gov/edfin/pdf/StFinance/Wyoming.pdf (January 2007).