Wednesday, February 19, 2014, 9:00 a.m. CT

Host site: Varner Hall Lower Level Board Room, 3835 Holdrege Street, Lincoln

Remote: Metro Community College, Bldg 30—Suite 252, 30th & Fort Streets, Omaha

Remote: Wayne State College, NATS Conference Room, 1111 Main St, Wayne

Remote: ESU 13, 4215 Avenue I, Scottsbluff

Remote: Southeast Community College, Eicher Bldg IVC Room, 600 State Street, Milford





Dr. Terry Haack, Co-Chair, Bennington Public Schools (Omaha Site)

Mr. Burke Brown, Alt. for Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools (Lincoln Site)

Mr. Mike Carpenter, Doane College (Lincoln Site)

Mr. Matt Chrisman, Mitchell Public Schools (Scottsbluff Site)

Mr. Stephen Hamersky, Daniel J. Gross Catholic High School (Omaha Site)

Mr. Lyle Neal, Southeast Community College (Milford Site)

Mr. Gary Needham, ESU 9 (Kearney Site)

Ms. Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska (Omaha Site)

Mr. Randy Schmailzl, Metropolitan Community College (Omaha Site)

Dr. Bob Uhing, Educational Service Unit 1 (Wayne Site)


LIAISONS/ALTERNATE MEMBERS PRESENT:  Mr. Brent Gaswick, Nebraska Department of Education (Lincoln Site)


MEMBERS/LIAISONS ABSENT: Mr. Clark Chandler, Nebraska Wesleyan University; Mr. John Dunning, Wayne State College; Mr. Ed Hoffman, Co-Chair, Nebraska State College System; Ms. Yvette Holly, UN-Medical Center; Dr. Mike Lucas, York Public Schools; Mr. Jeff Stanley, School Boards; Ms. Brenda Decker, Office of the CIO; Mr. Gary Targoff, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications; and Dr. Carna Pfeil, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education




The Co-chair, Dr. Haack, called the meeting to order at 1:31 p.m. There were seven members present at the time of roll call. A quorum was not present at the time of roll call. After roll call was taken there were two late arrivals at which time a quorum existed to conduct official business. The meeting notice and agenda were posted to the Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar on December 19, 2013.  The meeting agenda was posted to the NITC site on February 17, 2014. A copy of the Open Meetings Act was available in Varner Hall as well as each of the remote sites.




Mr. Uhing moved to approve the February 19, 2014 agenda as presented. Mr. Needham seconded. Roll call vote: Carpenter-Yes, Chrisman-Yes, Haack-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Brown-Yes, Neal-Yes, Needham-Yes, Niemiec-Yes, Schmailzl-Yes, and Uhing-Yes. Results: Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-0. Motion carried.




Mr. Hamersky moved to approve the December 18, 2013 meeting minutes as presented. Ms.  Niemiec seconded. Roll call vote: Uhing-Yes, Schmailzl-Yes, Niemiec-Yes, Needham-Yes, Neal-Yes, Brown-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Haack-Yes, Haack-Yes, Chrisman-Yes, and Carpenter-Yes. Results: Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-0. Motion carried.





RFP 4582 Update. The State Purchasing RFP was released in December. Bids were opened on January 17th and then a Best and Final Offer bid round opened on January 31st. The intent to award letters have been sent to vendors.  The included 29 circuit bids.  Three of these circuits were for the potential growth of Network Nebraska for ESUs 3 and 5 and a combination for ESUs 4 and 6.  The terms and conditions are being negotiated and finalized.  There may be a slight increase in Interregional Transport Fee rates but probably not in the Participation Fee.  Currently, the K-12 Internet purchase is at 8 Gbps and is expected to increase to 14-16 Gbps – 80-100% growth.  With the new Internet contract negotiated by the University of Nebraska, 18-20 Gbps of Internet will be available.  The cost will go down from $2.50/mg to $1.35/Mbps/month.  After E-rate is applied, the network cost will be around $ .47/Mbps/month.  Higher education will pay the retail price when determined.  Mr. Rolfes commended the Council for their work with Network Nebraska.


Services Update.  The participation fees in the past have funded additional intrusion protection and security services.  In addition, on December 5th, Network Nebraska initiated Internet2 Commercial Peering Services which permits some quicker routes than commodity Internet. Network Nebraska previously piloted CPS in 2012, when it filled an entire research circuit.  This was a collaborative effort of the Network Nebraska Advisory Group and the Collaborative Aggregation Partnership, working with UNL and UNCSN.


Membership Outlook for 7/1/2014


There is a possibility of 32 new schools that could be joining Network Nebraska on 7/1/2014. Fourteen (14) have been confirmed and 18 are waiting until the final internet rate or WAN costs are decided.  The project should have confirmation within the next week.  If all 32 schools participate, Network Nebraska will have 99% of K12 participation.


List of possible K-12 and higher education entities joining Network Nebraska-Education on 7/1/2014:

Confirmed Commitments:  Educational Service Unit #4, Auburn Public Schools, Humboldt-Table Rock-Steinauer Schools, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Public Schools, Crete Public Schools, Exeter-Milligan Public Schools, Fillmore Central Public Schools, Friend Public Schools, Malcolm Public Schools, McCool Junction Public Schools, Seward Public Schools, Shickley Public Schools, Wilber-Clatonia Public Schools and York Public Schools         

Waiting on final Internet rate or WAN costs to decide:  Archbishop Bergan Catholic School (Fremont), Arlington Public Schools, Bellevue Public Schools, Bennington Public Schools, Blair Community Schools, Conestoga Public Schools, Elkhorn Public Schools, Elmwood Murdock Public Schools, Fort Calhoun Community Schools, Gretna Public Schools, Millard Public Schools, Papillion-LaVista Public Schools, Plattsmouth Public Schools, Ralston Public Schools, Westside Community Schools, St. John Lutheran School in Seward, South Platte Public Schools at Big Springs and Concordia University in Seward


Budget Outlook for 7/1/2014.  At this point, the project is uncertain as to number of entities that will participate in Network Nebraska.  It is anticipated that the backbone will increase by as much as $5/month for K12 and $13/month for Higher Education but participation fees should decrease.




NITC Website.  The NITC staff posted upcoming legislative bills pertaining to I.T. on the NITC website. Mr. Rolfes has added legislation pertaining to the education sector.  If members are interested, they can sign-up for e-bill tracker that is available to Nebraska citizens. eBill sends alerts when the status of proposed bills change.


LR 199, The purpose of this study resolution was to acquire additional information, including financial requirements, regarding the state's efforts to establish a statewide virtual/digital educational system. No report has been published on the Legislature’s website.


LB 497, (3) The Education Committee of the Legislature shall conduct a study of potential uses of the funds dedicated to education from proceeds of the lottery conducted pursuant to the State Lottery Act. The committee shall submit a report electronically on the findings and any recommendations to the Clerk of the Legislature on or before December 31, 2014. Factors the study shall consider, but not be limited to, include:

(1) The educational priorities of the state;

(2) What types of educational activities are suited to being funded by state lottery funds as opposed to state general funds;

(3) Whether state lottery funds should be used for significant projects requiring temporary funding or to sustain ongoing activities; and

(4) Whether periodic reviews of the use of lottery funds for education should be scheduled.



Dr. Haack suggested the council submit information for the LB 497 study and he requested members’ input. The information should include the following:

·         Schools need for IT support with statewide networking

·         Admonition that Technology changes so quickly

·         Rather than special earmarking for equipment, have a component that provided professional development for teachers to learn technology

·         Provide a history of Network Nebraska-Education including cost savings


LB 1103 – (2) The Education Committee of the Legislature shall conduct a strategic planning process to create the statewide vision for education in Nebraska described in section 1 of this act which shall include aspirational goals, visionary objectives, meaningful priorities, and practical strategies. The committee or subcommittees thereof may conduct meetings, work sessions, and focus groups with individuals and representatives of educational interests, taxpayer groups, the business community, or any other interested entities. The committee shall also hold at least three public hearings to receive testimony from the general public in locations that represent a variety of educational situations. The committee shall submit a report regarding such process electronically to the Clerk of the Legislature on or before December 31, 2014.


A hearing was held before the Education Committee on February 10th and additional public hearings will be held throughout the state.  The study is to be completed before the end of 2014.  Mr. Rolfes asked if the Council sees itself being involved in the LB 1103 study or if they would want to make a statement about IT in education similar to LB 497.  The Council would need to work with the NITC to have their documents shared with the Education Committee.


LB 467, FOR AN ACT relating to the Postsecondary Institution Act; to amend section 85-2405, Revised Statutes Cumulative Supplement, 2012; to provide for interstate reciprocity agreements regarding postsecondary distance education; to harmonize provisions; and to repeal the original section.


Higher education institutions are tracking this bill.




Emerging Technologies Task Group [Discussion Requested on Changing Curriculum], Steven Hamersky.  The work group met in December and discussed curriculum changes motivated by technology.  The work group would like to propose ideas but wanted to get the Council’s feedback. 


High education sector feedback:  More and more university students are looking for more applications rather than memorization for example on topics such as “how to deal with patient” or “patient issues”.  Recording a classroom lecture that you can watch on YouTube is becoming more popular. Ms. Niemiec commented that the “pedagogy” of education should be addressed. For example, the flip classroom and blended education and MOOCs have great potential.  UNL has several initiatives underway regarding the continuum of education.  It is about the technology needs of students and student’s competency and ability for success.  At UNL, 60% of the students have taken online courses.  Some colleges are switching from BlackBoard to Canvas.  Mr. Carpenter would like the council to address adaptive learning and students learning at their own pace.  He will send Mr. Rolfes a link to some additional resources.  Community colleges and trade areas are taping lectures with students attending class one day a week. Community colleges are also looking more and more at outcomes and competencies for students. 


K12 sector feedback:  In regards to the flip classroom, Dr. Haack stated that one of their 5th grade teachers is recording lectures.  She emails the parents and this engages both the parent and the students in the lesson. They use a lot of technology at home and do a lot with Moodle.  From the K12 area, curriculum changes are difficult due to the standardized testing that teachers/students have to complete.  They rely on more traditional teaching means. Schools are dropping computer courses to make room for more math and reading.  Technology always changes and sometimes this causes changes in curriculum.  Mr. Uhing stated that the ESU Coordinating Council is putting together electronic text books.  Mr. Brown commented that assessments have affected their IT efforts.  His institution uses MATS. 


This would be a unique opportunity for K12, Higher Education and the Department of Education to collaborate in making digital curriculum changes.


Services Task Group, Gary Needham.  Prior to the meeting, he met with Mr. Carpenter to discuss the Service Catalog action item.  It needs to be done before the next school year or at least have the layout structured.  A draft of the services catalog with at least the table of contents will be made available for review of Network Nebraska Advisory Group.  Three categories will be proposed:

·         Direct Services.  These would be services offered directly by Network  Nebraska but would be optional and not part of the Participation Fees)

·         Centers of Excellence Services that would be offered by Participants to other Participants (would need to have a structure in place)

·         Third Party Services. An example of this would be state master contracts or working with the vendor of the NeSA assessment test regarding connections, etc. 

Mr. Carpenter stated that there is a need to develop a framework to implement and evaluate the services.  Mr. Rolfes recommended that the work group contact Rick Golden, University of Nebraska.  Mr. Golden has sample catalogues that the Office of the CIO has sent him.


Governance Task Group, Randy Schmailzl.  The work group has not met.  Future involvement could be communication from the Council regarding legislation. 


Marketing Task Group. Ms. Niemiec reported that the work group has not met. Mr. Rolfes will send the last marketing survey data to the Marketing Task Group.




State College.  No report.


Community Colleges.  Mr. Schmailzl reported that there is a lot of legislation affecting community colleges.  Senator Lautenbaugh has introduced a bill to do away with county elected boards.  County boards have a budgetary responsibility, along with community college boards.  County Boards also levee property taxes. He had testified yesterday and listened to other testimonies that were inaccurate.  Providing accurate historical background on Network Nebraska would be helpful. Many new senators have very little knowledge about IT issues. 


Independent Colleges.  No report.


University of Nebraska.  Ms. Niemiec reported that there are lots of eLearning initiatives underway at UNMC.  MOOCs are being delivered on the Kucera platform and are being used for health literacies and six-week long modules for health professionals.  UNO and the UN High School Program are offering a dual course in Psychology.  SARA (State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement) is a national initiative for higher education institutions to provide courses out of state.  It will be 3-5 years before it is fully implemented.  Ms. Niemiec is willing to share information and groundwork about the initiative with members.  The University of Nebraska will be holding its 2nd Distance Education Symposium in May.  She proposed ideas for the council to consider.  Perhaps the NITC Education Council could host a similar symposium and/or partner with the University to host an event.  Members liked the idea and would be interested in more discussion at a later date.


K-12 public and private.  Dr. Haack suggested that perhaps the April NETA conference could be an option for the collaborative distance education symposium cross-sharing.  Due to current legislation, the public can now see all Nebraska state contracts including school superintendents.  There is proposed early childhood education that if passed will have a funding mechanism and technology will have a role.  LB 1060 regarding county commissioners also applies to ESUs. Mr. Gaswick stated that the Department of Education has the technology planning tool used for E-rate funding.  They are planning to modify the tool to make it more useful to schools.




The next meeting of the NITC Education Council will be held on April 16th with the location to be determined.  This will be a face-to-face meeting.  If any members would be willing to host the meeting, they were asked to contact Mr. Rolfes


Below are a few proposed agenda items:

·         Legislative Update

·         Services Catalog

·         Network Nebraska Website presentation




Mr. Schmailzl moved to adjourn.  Ms. Niemiec seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:35 a.m.




Meeting minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Tom Rolfes of the Office of the CIO/NITC.