of the

Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 9:00 a.m. CT

Host site: Executive Building Room 103, 521 S. 14th Street, Lincoln, Nebraska
Remote site 1: Alliance High School Room 405, 100 W 14th, Alliance
Remote site 2: ESU 16, 1221 W 17th, North Platte
Remote site 3: ESU 10, 76 Plaza Blvd, Kearney
Remote site 4: Campus Services IVC, 750 Lindahl Drive, Wayne



Mr. Mike Carpenter, Doane College (Lincoln Site)

Mr. John Dunning, Wayne State College (Wayne Site)

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

Mr. Leonard Hartman, Alliance Public Schools (Alliance Site)

Mr. Ed Hoffman, Nebraska State College System (Lincoln Site)

Mr. Jeff Johnson, Centennial Public Schools (Lincoln Site)

Mr. Greg Maschman, Alt. for Clark Chandler, Nebraska Wesleyan University (Lincoln Site)

Mr. Gary Needham, ESU 9 (Lincoln Site)

Mr. Randy Schmailzl, Metropolitan Community College (North Platte Site)

Mr. Jeff Stanley, Conestoga Public Schools (Lincoln Site)

(Tracy Popp, Alt. for Jeff Stanley was present at Alliance site until his arrival)

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



Ms. SuAnn Witt, Nebraska Department of Education



Dr. Terry Haack, Bennington Public Schools; Ms. Yvette Holly, UNL-Medical Center; Dr. Mike Lucas, York Public Schools; Mr. Lyle Neal, Southeast Community College; Ms. Mary Niemiec, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Brenda Decker, Office of the CIO; Dr. Marshall Hill, Coordinating Commission for Postsecondary Education; and Mr. Gary Targoff, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission




Co-Chair, Mr. Ed Hoffman, called the meeting to order at 1:05 pm.  There were 9 members present at the time of roll call.  A quorum existed to conduct official business. The meeting notice was posted to the Nebraska Public Meeting Calendar August 20, 2012.  The meeting agenda was posted to the NITC Web site October 11, 2012 and amended October 16, 2012.




Mr. Johnson moved to approve the October 24, 2012 meeting agenda as presented. Mr.  Needham seconded. Roll call vote: Maschman-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Hartman-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Needham-Yes, Popp-Yes, and Carpenter-Yes.  Results:  Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-0.  Motion carried.




Mr. Neal moved to approve the August 16, 2012 meeting minutes as presented. Mr. Schmailzl seconded.  Roll call vote: Maschman-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Hartman-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Needham-Yes, Popp-Yes, and Carpenter-Yes.  Results:  Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-0.  Motion carried.




There was no public comment.




Ken Clipperton is resigning from the Council and was recognized for his service to the Education Council.  Mike Carpenter has been nominated by the Independent Colleges and Universities sector as his replacement.


Mr. Hamersky moved to forward the nomination of Mike Carpenter replacing Ken Clipperton to the NITC for final approval.  Mr. Johnson seconded.  Roll call vote: Maschman-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Hartman-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Needham-Yes, Popp-Yes, and Carpenter-Abstained.  Results:  Yes-8, No-0, Abstained-1.  Motion carried.




Network Nebraska-Education has been relatively stable.   Mr. Rolfes reported that there is still some follow-up work to be done with some of the providers for previous service outages.  Network Nebraska is carrying 4Gbps of commodity Internet.   Revised statutes 79-1336 and 79-1337 deal with incentives and equipment reimbursements for schools to be involved in Network Nebraska.  These incentives are offered only through fiscal years 2013-14. Network Nebraska has fulfilled the legislative charge of providing “access” to Network Nebraska for public K-12 and higher education no later than July 12, 2012.  Currently, 88% of Nebraska schools districts, 87% of the Educational Service Units, 100% of public higher education, 43% of nonpublic higher education, and 4% of non-public K-12 entities participating.  Ms. Witt administers the LB 1208 equipment reimbursement program and informed the Council that this portion of the legislative bill will sunset on July 2013.  Not all school districts are participants of Network Nebraska but will need to commit by February or March to leverage those dollars.  They would also need to commit to offering a minimum of two video courses per year.  The Council was informed of this deadline so that they could inform their sectors and encourage their involvement.


2012-13 Procurement.  The next procurement cycle is for service provider contracts for approximately 50 sites.  This will be handled by the State’s Administrative Service Purchasing Division.  The Office of the CIO will be involved.


Network Nebraska Advisory Group. John Stritt, ESU 10, and Deb Schroeder, UN-Kearney, provided the update.  The advisory group has been under transition due to some members resigning.  The group’s primary function is to provide strategic guidance to the State Chief Information Officer. Members’ discussion of issues varies as the year progresses.  The group is composed of eight members from K-12 and eight members from higher education, as well as CAP liaisons and staff from Network Nebraska.  Following are tasks and discussions the group has been addressing:

·         reviewed and recommended changes in the network Participation Fee budget

·         discussed services in place and equipment replacement costs

·         worked with the State RFP process

·         IPv6 has been discussed, and

·         Discussed revisions to the Network Nebraska website


Randy Schmailzl and Jeff Stanley arrived at the meeting.




Marketing, SuAnn Witt.  The task group has met several times for final review of the Network Nebraska Marketing survey.  Action item N4C is done.  Since the survey is completed, action item N4D, which is to update the Network Nebraska Marketing Plan, will be done next.  Recommendations for next year’s Network Nebraska Marketing Survey have been received.  Ms. Witt reviewed the executive summary excerpt below from the 2012 Network Nebraska Market Survey Report: 

This is the fourth year in which the Network Nebraska (NN) market survey has been conducted. Each year a larger percentage of those who start the survey complete the survey – an average increase of about 3% over each of the last three years. The overall participation, that is the number of participants starting the survey, has declined annually from 335 in 2008 to 217 this year.


The survey was issued in December 2011. Of the 217 participants who started the survey, 165 or 76% completed it. In December 2010, 178 individuals completed the survey out of 242 who attempted the survey, or a 73.6% completion rate. In December 2008, 364 survey participants started the survey while 178 or 48.9% completed the survey compared to 335 starting the survey in December 2009 with 236 or 70.4% completing the survey.


Partners: December 2011 survey results suggest that for existing members in both the K-12 and higher education demographic groups the top three attributes of Network Nebraska include student learning opportunities, increased bandwidth, and cost sharing. This is consistent with results in both the 2009 and 2010 surveys. In 2008 lower cost was defined as the single most important attribute. As a stable and trusted network was realized, partner interests migrated to better utilization of the shared resource.


Potential Partners: This year there were very few potential member responses to the survey in the K-12 demographic and even fewer in the higher education demographic. Issues of greatest importance for K-12 were student learning opportunities, increased bandwidth, and Interactive Video Conferencing. Of potential partners in the higher education community recruiting and retaining members, communication and collaboration, as well as new shared services ranked as the top issues of importance.


A new question regarding interest in “shared services” was included this year.  As indicated in the survey results, there is a strong interest in this area.  If interested, Ms. Witt invited any members to assist with the revisions for next year’s survey.  Mr. Hamersky offered the assistance of the Emerging Technologies Task.  Network Nebraska, unlike other states, does not have its own service group.  The Network Nebraska participants dictate what services will be available on the network. 


A new member stated that he did not complete the survey because he was not aware of the shared services and how the network works.  Being a member of the Council, he now understands.  The task group has also discussed another issue.  If a shared service is provided on the network, does it become part of the network and part of the network fees or does it belong to the entity providing that shared service and if so, does that entity get compensated?  If part of the network fees, the OCIO would be able to receive invoiced costs and, in turn, invoice participating entities using the service(s).  It was suggested to develop an organizational chart of Network Nebraska and its layers.  It was commented that this could be a critical component of economic development for out-state Nebraska to attract and retain good IT staff and create centers of excellence.  The Council needs to communicate this possibility but will need to move deliberately.  Finally, the Council discussed a temporary hiatus for the Market Survey Report, changing its format, and possibly doing the survey every other year instead of every year. The Council members were in agreement with that approach.


Ms. Witt was thanked for her efforts with the Marketing Survey. 


Bob Uhing arrived to the meeting at the Kearney site.


Emerging Technologies Task Group.  The task group has not met since the last meeting but plans to meet with the Marketing Task Group about the survey.


Network Nebraska Services Task Group.  No report.


Governance Task Group.  Mr. Schmailzl reported that the task group held a conference call and had several questions regarding the action items.  Mr. Rolfe’s responses are in italics.


Identify Tier II communities that offer opportunities for aggregation for services onto the network.


N1a Action:  The CAP will work with communities that express an interest in aggregating their public sector data transport.

Note action:  Impact of groups working together.  For example, Dodge County Health Services, City of Fremont, Fremont Public Schools, Midland University, Fremont Public Library, Educational Service Unit 2.  Do we have the ability to provide shared costing rates and coordination of services?  The Office of the CIO’s concern is that a convergence of multi-agency data could affect E-Rate eligibility for the public schools and libraries.  In addition, it could complicate the ability to cost-allocate eligible costs and re-bill for Network participation. Currently, nothing has been developed to accommodate multi-agency public entities’ participation in Network Nebraska.

N1b Action:  Education entities will act as primary tenants to encourage the aggregation of data transport by community anchor institutions.

Note action:  Simplify the action statement wording.  Nebraska Department of Education Project on K-12 College/University sharing information.  How does the project fit into this action? Network Nebraska is not involved in what type of data is transported.  That would be up to the participants.  Both N1a and N1b could and probably should be revisited by the CAP (Collaborative Aggregation Partnership) group.


The Chief Information Officer will continue the LB 1208 implementation by annually bidding infrastructure and connectivity for new regions of participants and developing the most cost-effective and efficient support structure possible for the statewide network. 


N2a Action:  The Network Nebraska network design/support team will develop a service level agreement with local and regional education entities in order to develop a cooperative support system for the statewide education network that will insure data transport and synchronous video reliability. 

Note action:  Is the service level agreement and cooperative support system in place? It has been in draft format but is about ready for final draft and distribution for signatures by participants.  The Network Nebraska Advisory Group (NNAG) has also been working on this issue.


N2b Action:  The Chief Information Officer will annually update the State master purchase contracts for edge devices and monitor the local site purchases of such equipment in order to promote and encourage network equipment standardization.

Note action:  State master purchase contract and monitoring in plan?  How do we encourage network equipment standardization?  State Purchasing, in conjunction with state agencies, monitors state purchasing contracts.  The Legislature required the OCIO to develop a website for participants to submit notification of their new equipment purchases so that it can be reviewed to assure that it is in line with state standards and guidelines.  Recently, the website has not been used much.  In addition, this requirement is not mandated.  The NITC has standards and guidelines as well as state contracts to help guide equipment purchases by participating entities. 


Digital Education Action Items (2012-2014)


Promote the availability, distribution, and use of digital media throughout the Nebraska educational community.


D2 Action:  Set a deadline and establish standard(s) related to the deployment, administration and maintenance of content management systems by K-12 schools. 

Note action:  Refer to ESU letter and proposal in 10/24/12 meeting packet.  Is a process in place for establishing standards and setting a deadline?  ESUCC has submitted Nebraska BlendEd eLearning System Project for voluntary review that deals with these issues. In addition the Office of the CIO and the NITC have a process in place to recommend standards and guidelines.  Any of the advisory councils can develop and recommend a standard or guideline to the NITC Technical Panel.  The standard or guideline is then reviewed by the Technical Panel.  The standard is posted to the OCIO website for the required 30-day public comment period.  After this process, the Technical Panel then recommends the standard to the NITC for final review and approval. 


E – Government Action Item (2012-2014)


Promote the use of e-government to improve services and increase the efficiency and effectiveness of agencies.


E1 Action:  Maintain the Education Portal on the State of Nebraska website.

Note action:  Who is assigned to maintain? hosts the website.  The Marketing Task Group and Services Task Group are responsible for reviewing and updating the content within the Education Portal, in cooperation with NIC-USA.




Approximately 20 IT proposals have been submitted for the 2013-15 biennium.  Only two are education-focused.  Technical reviews have been completed to evaluate the proposals.  After that, the advisory councils make their recommendations to the NITC.  


ESUCC Nebraska BlendEd eLearning System Project. Mr. Rolfes informed the Council that the project has been scored by only two reviewers so far.  There is a third reviewer assigned but he/she has not submitted his/her review.  Council members were provided the Technical Review comments.  A weakness identified in the review was that the BlendED project should consider including higher education.


Mr. Blomstedt provided information on the ESUCC Nebraska BlendEd eLearning System Project.

There is much opportunity for collaboration.  He also has presented before the Technical Panel.  Mr. Jim Zemke, UNCSN, was present and was thanked for his assistance.  The primary components of the project include:

1)     Learning Object Repository (LOR) Content Repository System - to support a statewide digital instructional content repository for existing and future collections of multimedia learning objects and course materials of all types (e.g. audio, video, graphical, textual) that are standards-aligned and meta-tagged (i.e. appropriately catalogued and classified);

2)     Learning management system (LMS) - to support a statewide learning management system that allows teachers to organize instructional content, support collaborative learning activities, and deliver instruction to students both in and out of the classroom;

3)     Federated Directory Services system (LDAP) - to support a statewide directory service that facilitates single sign-on access for every teacher and learner;

4)     Statewide Professional Development (PD) System: A comprehensive system of professional development for the implementation of BlendEd incorporating LOR, LMS, & LDAP for a singular PD system to provide technology-assisted instructional design training, embedded professional development and PD content shared between and among the NDE, ESUCC and higher education; and

5)     Evaluative System: A persistent system of assessment, analytics, and interventions that allows the State to diagnose and remedy areas of specific curriculum or teacher shortages (e.g. science, technology, engineering, mathematics, English language learners, advanced placement, etc.)

Discussions occurred regarding collaboration and involvement.  Although there is no legislative requirement to include higher education, they have been involved in discussions.  Mr. Zemke stated that he formerly served as the UN Blackboard Administrator and he still meets with this group.  He has been involved with this University-wide implementation for over 10 years and is pleased to see the collaboration and involvement of K-12.  Mr. Stanley commented that the only way small local districts can afford this is through a collaborative effort especially when they are required to meet the State’s educational requirements and having a centralized repository will benefit teachers.


Mr. Hamersky moved to endorse the ESUCC Nebraska BlendEd eLearning System Project as a Tier1 project to the NITC.  Mr. Stanley seconded.  Roll call vote: Maschman-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Hartman-Yes, Hoffman-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Needham-Abstained, Schmailzl-Yes, Stanley-Yes, Uhing-Abstained and Carpenter-Yes.  Results:  Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-2.  Motion carried.


Discussion followed regarding the Education Council option to submit comments about the project.  The Council agreed to submit comments and provided feedback.


The Education Council’s recommended comments on ESUCC’s Nebraska BlendEd eLearning System Project are as follows:

·         The Education Council recommends this project be categorized as Tier 1.

·         If this project is successfully implemented, the Education Council predicts a significant cost savings for the education entities of Nebraska due to better software licensing and aggregated support services.

·         The technologies described in the ESUCC project proposal have matured to the point where ongoing support services will be much more assumable than at any previous point in the history of these applications. EDUCAUSE has found that although the software products are improving and becoming more user friendly, more advanced training will be required for faculty and students in order to use the software systems to their fullest potential (e.g. instructional design training, advanced collaborative tools training).

·         Nebraska is in a unique position to implement these technologies by virtue of the existence of the NSSRS unique identifier for every teacher, student, and staff member, currently being managed by the Nebraska Department of Education.

·         The Education Council recommends that the project team focus on implementation of agreed-upon interoperability standards rather than trying to achieve a single, specific software solution. By remaining vendor agnostic, the entire system will be less vulnerable to the unpredictable changes within the market environment. 


Mr. Stanley moved to append the Education Council comments to the ESUCC project rating recommendation and to give approval to Mr. Rolfes to edit the comments for clarity. Mr. Needham seconded. Roll call vote: Carpenter-Yes, Maschman-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Hamersky-Yes, Hartman-Yes, and Hoffman-Yes, Johnson-Yes, Needham-Abstained, Schmailzl-Yes, Stanley-Yes, and Uhing-Abstained. Results:  Yes-9, No-0, Abstained-2.  Motion carried.


45-04 Media Services and Integration, Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission.

There was not a NETC representative available to present the project.  Mr. Rolfes reviewed the Technical Review comments.  The project got a score of 80. The State Government Council has recommended this as a Tier 2 project.  Discussion followed.


Mr. Stanley moved to that the Education Council recommend the 45-04 Media Services and Integration project as a Tier 2 project and to append comments from the council.  Mr. Hamersky seconded.  Roll call vote: Uhing-(left the meeting), Stanley-Yes, Schmailzl-Yes, Needham-Yes, Johnson-(left the meeting), Hoffman-Yes, Hartman-(left the meeting), Hamersky-Yes, Dunning-Yes, Maschman-Yes, and Carpenter-Yes.  Results:  Yes-8, No-0, Abstained-0.  Motion carried.


The Education Council comments on 45-04 Media Services and Integration Project are as follows:

·         The Education Council recommends this project be categorized as Tier 2.

·         A more specific description of the target market is needed. There is a potential overlap with the digital content repository being proposed by the ESU Coordinating Council (ESUCC-01). The ESU Coordinating Council commented that it is open to collaborating with NETC on this project.




Mr. Rolfes included the NITC action items as an informational item.  The NITC has approved these action items as part of the Statewide Technology Plan.  There has been progress on many of the action items. He will update the Task Group Membership/Assignments for the next Council meeting. 




Below are meeting agenda items requested by the Council for the next meeting:

·         Network Nebraska Procurement

·         Network Nebraska Survey discussion results


After discussion and by group consensus, it was decided to not meet in December.  The Council will meet in January on the third Wednesday via video conferencing.


Mr. Needham moved to adjourn.  Mr. Carpenter seconded.  All were in favor.  Motion carried.


The meeting was adjourned at 11:46 a.m.



The meeting minutes were taken by Lori Lopez Urdiales and reviewed by Tom Rolfes of the OCIO/NITC.