Leeds City Council has launched a learning network to connect schools, libraries, museums and learning centres to a range of educational resources. It is planned to connect over 400 locations to the network by 2002. This includes some 300 schools and more than 100,000 students. Longer term plans include extending the network to hospitals and nursing homes. The technology has been provided by BT Syncordia Solutions, the e-business and communications unit of BT.The network allows students to explore specific Intranet sites hosting content created by skilled educationalists with contributions from local libraries and museums, as well as to gain filtered access to the Internet. Students will have their own e-mail addresses and be able to e-mail homework to their teachers and take part in collaborative online projects with other schools. Later, videoconferencing services will be installed so that students can share in special interest subjects and vocational courses that might not be available at their school.
There will be separate areas on the network for each school and for teachers. Schools will be able to share news and information with other sectors of the community. Teachers will have access to sources of advice and good practice.
Members of the public will be able to access the network from the five City Learning Centres that will be located across Leeds.