National Guard to start interactive video classes Md. colleges will offer courses through network

July 09, 1996|By Robert A. Erlandson | Robert A. Erlandson,SUN STAFF

The Maryland National Guard will become a full partner in community education tomorrow with the opening of the first two classrooms of an interactive video education network planned with colleges across the country.

Vice President Al Gore and Gov. Parris N. Glendening will inaugurate the network's first classrooms at the Laurel Armory; similar distance-learning and computer-assisted classrooms should be available in mid-August at Camp Fretterd in Reisterstown.

Plans are to have classrooms in 1,000 National Guard armories across the United States, as many as five of them in Maryland, said Lt. Col. Milton P. Davis, education officer for the Maryland Army and Air Guards.

The classrooms will be used for Guard education and training, and for televised classes for civilian college students who do not have ready access to a college campus, he said.

Area colleges will offer various courses through the network, which will be connected to the University of Maryland's interactive video network.

Computer courses will be taught in the computer-assisted classrooms.

The participating schools are the University of Maryland System, Bowie State University, University of Baltimore and the community colleges of Baltimore, Carroll and Prince George's counties.

Weekends will be reserved for National Guard training programs on the network, which can be connected with the state's emergency response network as a backup system for the Department of Defense, he said.

"It will use modern technology to benefit both the Guard and the public," Davis said. "It puts the Guard right in the community."

Among the first 10 sites, two each will be at armories in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, one in Washington and three in Virginia, including one at National Guard headquarters in Northern Virginia. Other Maryland sites are planned for Easton, Annapolis and Cheltenham.

Using the armories will provide additional classroom space for colleges and offer better access for students. For example, Camp Fretterd is in northwestern Baltimore County, near Carroll County, so students using the Guard classrooms will not have to travel long distances for classes, Davis said.

Pub Date: 7/09/96

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