The West Virginia Network, which is a branch of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, recently announced it has partnered with URcast to provide access to learning content for K-12 students throughout West Virginia without Internet connections.

URCast is a content distribution application customized for K -12 students, according to the HEPC, and it provides caching services that allow students to view content on computers, tablets or smartphones even without an Internet connection.The process reallocates bandwidth and puts a caching server within the school.

“Caching speeds up student Internet access so classroom time is learning time, not waiting time,” said Paul Hill, HEPC chancellor. “A faster speed of delivery can provide students with more personalized learning experiences and give teachers greater opportunities to engage their students on the lesson at hand.”

Mt. Vernon Elementary School in Barbour County has been participating in the program as a pilot school. The school has been able to provide books and videos for students’ devices that can be accessed on the school bus and at home on weekends or snow days.

“Access to technology is an essential component of a world class education,” said West Virginia Superintendent of Schools Michael Martirano.

The partnership between WVNET and URcast will provide our staff and students with a valuable tool to help cross the digital divide and make learning exciting, relevant and meaningful.

WVNET is currently seeking additional pilot schools to participate in the project. Interested schools can contact Booker Walton, Customer Resource Specialist at WVNET, at btwiii@mail.wvnet.edu or 304 -293 -5192. Details can be found at www.wvnet.edu/urcast.