• In conjunction with IREX, USIA is planning to bring NIS scholars, NGOs and related professional and governmental groups in contact with one another and link them into international data banks via computer communications. For instance, a group of 60 Russian educators currently in the U.S. on a USIA program will be connected to their American colleagues and one another through an IREX E-mail network when they return to Russia at the close of this academic year. Under this grant, USIA will be purchasing computer equipment for public access E-mail stations in key professional and academic centers throughout the NIS. There will be an American trainer located at each of the centers to train other NIS trainers and to selectively distribute modems and e-mail accounts.

    Under a USIA grant, the State University of New York, in conjunction with the Association for International Education - a Russian non-profit organization, has established the Moscow Center for distance learning at the Moscow Institute of Electronics and Mathematics. The first project of this center was a pilot program to grant a Master of Science Degree in computer science from SUNY to eight Russian students who are communicating with their American professors via video tape, internet and e-mail.

    Under another USIA grant, the General Motors Institute's School of Engineering created a video tape lecture series for Russian engineering, scientific, technical and business managers. A USIA post in Moscow subtitled in Russian all 72 lectures, which were then distributed to seven Russian institute and universities. One class has already graduated form the program, and received certificates from GMI.

    A high school linkage program which links American and Russian high schools, has a component which sets up e-mail linkages, and purchases hardware and training for participating high schools. About half of the linkage partners are currently able to communicate with one another not only through person-to-person exchanges, but through e-mail.

    USIA could build into all future partnership grants a requirement to leave behind a public access computer terminal for electronic communications at the close of an early phase of each institutional exchange program.

  • The following is a partial list of some of the schools that are now on-line and telecommunicating with schools here in the US:

    Grodno School #9 Grodno, Belarus kuptsova1@glas.apc.org

    Grodno School #30 Grodno, Belarus grodnosch30@glas.apc.org

    Moscow School #689 Moscow nsks698@glas.apc.org

    Gym. Museum School St. Petersburg gymrsum@sovam.com

    A dissolved-oxygen water test kit was given to Grodno School #9. This kit will be used to monitor the heavily polluted Neman River which flows through Grodno. These test results will be monitored by students in both Grodno and my school. We hope to expand this ecological testing in the future.

    The American Embassy in Minsk, Belarus is currently hosting a conference on telecommunications. The contact person there is Mr. Conrad Turner (usisms@sovam.con).

    The Institute of New Technologies, in St. Petersburg, is getting a new Russia-wide network off the ground called RUNNET, the address is (http//www.imfo.ru/).

    ( U.S.-Russia Electronic Distance Education System (EDES):

    Global (electronic) University (GU) (TM) consortium, a divisional activity of Global Systems Analysis and Simulation Association in the U.S.A. (GLOSAS/USA), seeks to improve quality and availability of international educational exchange through the use of telecommunication and information technologies. GLOSAS/USA is a New York publicly supported, non-profit, educa- tional service organization.

    The Global University's main activity is to achieve global electronic education across national boundaries, serving and complementing existing distance education institutions with outlets and resources on a global scale, by developing a cooperative infrastructure and by bringing the powers and resources of telecommunications to ordinary citizens around the world. Another goal of GU is to empower under-served people of the Third World by giving them access to the educational excellence available at the institutions of the more developed. Students could access some of the world's finest resources with a far greater variety of educational philosophies, courses and instructional styles than they could ever encounter on a single campus. This project can then become a version of the 21st century Fulbright exchange program.

    Over the past two decades GLOSAS/USA played a major role in extending the U.S. data communication networks to other countries, particularly to Japan. GLOSAS has conducted a number of "Global Lecture Hall" (GLH) (TM) videoconferences employing inexpensive media accessible to the less developed countries, interlinking over two dozen universities, ranging from Japan to Turkey, from Finland to New Zealand, and North and South America. These demonstrations have helped discover and overcome the technical, regulatory, economic and marketing impediments to the creation of a Global (electronic) University and build a network of leaders in the distance education movement. They have also generated considerable interest among various organizations around the world. International associates of GLOSAS are currently working on the establishment of Global Pacific University (GPU), Global Latin American University (GLAU) and Global European University (GEU).

    GLOSAS is currently working to establish a U.S.-Russia Electronic Distance Education System (EDES) via various telecommunication media, with the Association of International Education (AIE) in Moscow which was recently established by the Ministry of Science, Higher Education and Technology Policy of the Russian Federation and GLOSAS/USA. Once in place, EDES will later become the Russian Electronic University, part of our Global University system founded by GLOSAS/USA.

    Russian students will use EDES to access many distance educational courses offered by member schools of GU/USA, without coming to the U.S. or requiring their American instructors to travel to Russia. The students will be able to converse with American instructors and classmates at a distance, using such devices as audio, voice-mail, electronic mail, fax and slow-scan TV through a free of charge narrow band channel of INTELSAT's Project ACCESS. The plan will include the lease of a broad band (video) channel on INTELSAT satellites in subsequent years, thus permitting Russian students to receive American satellite courses directly at their homes. American (and later other nations') students will have equal opportunity to receive courses from universities and outstanding academicians in Russia.

    This project will hopefully foster relationships between GU/USA member schools and educational institutions throughout NIS. Additionally, educational credentials from course offering countries in North America could fill a pressing economic need for employment of competent persons with firms seeking to establish businesses in the NIS. At the same time it could provide a much needed support system for scientists who are isolated from the current scientific literature and important meetings in their fields. Our project intends to offer a fundamental solution to the urgent needs of those countries in their transition to the new market-oriented economy and new society.

    Currently, over 100 prominent schools contacted GU/USA to indicate their interest in this project. Some have already confirmed their participation. Apart from schools such as Agricultural Satellite Corporation, Brown University, Dartmouth College, George Washington University, National Technological University, University of Colorado, University of Hawaii, University of Maryland or University of Tennessee, GU/USA has also received expressions of interest from potential corporate sponsors such as IBM, Sun Microsystems, Apple Computer, DEC, US Sprint, INTELSAT and the World Bank. Our Russian partner AIE has over 20 school members in Russia. GLOSAS/USA has also received inquiries and proposals to join this project from Australia, Canada, Croatia, England, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Israel, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Ukraine, etc., making this an international project to help Russia and, later, other ex-communist countries.

    Utilizing funds available from Japanese government, the World Bank plans to support Russia's establishment of a media center and electronic distance education activities, including the activities of AIE. The Bank may also utilize EDES for dissemination of bank policies and staff training, as well as for supplying the Russian public and educational institutions with educational materials required for their mastery of market economic principles.

    GLOSAS/USA plans to approach Japanese government and industry for major funding of this project under the auspices of Japan's Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) program. The participation of the Japanese in such a project would be extremely valuable. Cooperative efforts in complex global undertak- ings that bring Europeans, Japanese, and U.S. resources together will be increasingly necessary and become the norm. Generous donations of services by major carriers enabled GLOSAS/USA to conduct almost a dozen "Global Lecture Hall" videoconferences free of charge. The support of SprintMail, a U.S. commercial electronic mail service, greatly facilitated the functioning of GLOSAS/USA members, scattered around the world, for coordination and proposal, report and paper writing.

    Global education via satellite and other telecommunication media is the way towards the 21st century Age of Knowledge, laying a social infrastructure for global citizenship of the global village. Extending communications through a global network and sharing ideas and educational opportunities with other locations is of paramount interest. The exchange of knowledge among countries can make major contributions to world peace, helping to ease frictions, promoting joint research and development, and mutual exchange and understanding. Developments in global electronic education can transform education at all levels around the world, and can enrich and transform human society. Utsumi@columbia.edu

    ( More than 100 Florida schools are currently paired, but some relationships are stronger than others because of the difficulty in communicating due to issues on the NIS side. We are now focusing on trying to help NIS sister schools go on line. The work has been aided with 3 United States Information Agency Grants awarded to Dade County Schools (Miami, Florida). We have produced a bilingual Russian/English telecommunications resource guide to help particularly NIS schools learn how to go on line and use E mail. The linking organization in the NIS is International Movement of Educators for Peace and Understanding. Most Russian schools do not have the ability to telecommunicate while most Florida schools are on-line with free access to INTERNET. It has been very difficult to maintain the connections.