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Funded Research Projects

The content contained within the Research section of the site is for archival purposes, and may or may not be current.

An Assessment of Community Networks: The Use and Social Impact of Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure on Local Public and Nonprofit Sectors (2000-2001). The purpose of this 18-month evaluation project is to understand some of the uses and social impacts of community networking, particularly for social networks and community involvement. Participating partners in the in-depth case studies are Seattle Community Network, Three Rivers Free Net, PrairieNet Community Network and the Blacksburg Electronic Village. The evaluation also seeks more broadly to identify 'best practices' and lessons learned for long term sustainability of community networking initiatives in the U.S. A draft summary of best practices and lessons learned was presented at the International Communication Association meeting, May 24-27, 2001. Research instruments, including the mail survey for case study sites, and the listserv surveys (managers phone interview and managers email questionnaire, as well as the listserv members web-based questionnaire), are available online. We welcome your feedback and exchange of findings. Principal investigators on this evaluation are: Andrea Kavanaugh, Joseph Schmitz and Scott Patterson. Senior personnel include Andrew Cohill and Luke Ward.

Meeting the Education and Health Needs of Rural Appalachia: A Wireless Solution The objective of this one-year planning grant (October 1999 through September 2000), funded by the US Department of Commerce, Public Telecommunications Facilities Program (PTFP), is to plan network connectivity and educational content with community partners in Smyth and Floyd Counties (county government, public schools, and public health centers). Virginia Tech and the University of Virginia Telemedicine Center will assist partners in Smyth and Floyd Counties in planning a hybrid delivery system (wire and wireless, using NetWork Virginia and Local Multipoint Distribution Service or LMDS, or other wireless services). Project partners have applied to PTFP for funding the implementation phase. Principal Investigators on the project are Andrea Kavanaugh, and Jeff Crowder. Senior personnel include Judy Lilly, Andrew Cohill, and Cortney Martin.

BEV design history project The BEV design history project, funded by the National Science Foundation, is documenting the development and implementation of the BEV using an online database. Principal Investigators on the project are: Jack Carroll, Mary Beth Rosson, Ed Fox, and Andrew Cohill.

Building community in Rural America: A replicable model for networking This project was funded by the Telecommunications and Information Infrastructure Assistance Program (TIIAP) of the U.S. Department of Commerce (1997-99), to demonstrate: 1) the integration of high capacity Internet-based services throughout Montgomery County, and 2) the replicability of the Blacksburg Electronic Village (BEV) as a model for community networking in other locations. The project summary gives details. Principal Investigators on the project: Andrew Cohill, Andrea Kavanaugh.

The following Quarterly Performance Reports are available online:

Evaluating the impact of networking on K-12 education reform Funded by the Network Infrastructure for Education of the National Science Foundation (1997-99), to evaluate: 1) the combined impact of network resources and learner-centered teaching strategies, and 2) the impact of networking for school-community interaction and involvement. Please see the project summary and project report. Principal Investigators on the grant: John Burton, Andrea Kavanaugh.

Planning for virtual schools in electronic villages funded by the National Science Foundation's Network Infrastructure for Education (NIE) Program (1995-96), to lay the groundwork for developing and documenting a virtual school, where (virtual) collaborative classrooms encompass the entire community and exploit connections among diverse educational resources -- schools, libraries, homes, businesses, global networks. The project summary is available. Principal Investigators on the project: Norm Dodl, Roger Ehrich, Deborah Hix, Andrea Kavanaugh.