Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

MPATI - Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction

I just added another section in the History of IDT portion of IT 700 - It's about an interesting initiative back in the 1960's called MPATI - The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction.

Have you ever heard of MPATI? - The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction? If you answered NO, read on! If you answered YES, well to be honest, I probably don't believe you, so read on anyway!

The following is from Wikipedia -
Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction. (2009, December 9). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 22:12, August 25, 2010, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Midwest_Program_on_Airborne_Television_Instruction&oldid=330741975

The Midwest Program on Airborne Television Instruction (MPATI) was a special broadcasting initiative designed to broadcast educational television programming to schools, especially in areas where local educational television stations are either hard to receive or unavailable.

From 1961 through 1968, MPATI's programming broadcast from two DC-6AB aircraft based at the Purdue University Airport in West Lafayette, Indiana, using a broadcasting technique known as Stratovision.

The undertaking began as a three-year experiment in 1960, with MPATI organizing, producing, and broadcasting instructional television with seed-money from the Ford Foundation. This was a nonprofit organization of educators and television producers that pioneered instructional television for enriching education in public schools throughout the midwest. This was in times prior to the advent of satellite television transmission. By 1963, MPATI moved into its second phase where it relied totally on membership fees but it was never financially stable. MPATI found it difficult to get enough member schools to finance the organization. In its third reorganization, MPATI, unable to meet its expenses through membership fees, ceased producing and broadcasting courses in 1968 and became a tape library.

One of the two aircraft would go aloft for six to eight hours at a time; take up a twenty minute figure-eight station centered over Montpelier, Indiana (35 miles north of Muncie, Indiana) at an altitude of 23,000 feet. From this position the range of transmission was approximately 200 miles in diameter; stations transmission included both Chicago and Detroit metropolitan areas. When on station the plane would reduce speed, and then lower a forty-foot antenna mast which was gyroscopically stabilized so that the antenna always aligned from the aircraft to the center of the earth. This stabilization feature helped to maintain polarization of the signals from these planes. Beam characteristics of the antenna were sharp and reception was optimized by placing the reception antenna as near as practical to the ground and pointing it toward the Montpelier location to minimize multipath canceling and interference.

Programming from the planes was always pre-recorded; program slates, taped classroom instruction and test patterns with canned music were all that was aired from the MPATI planes. Frequently snowy pictures were what students saw from the low power transmitters of KS2XGA or KS2XGD channels 72 and 76 UHF respectively.

The television equipment and transmitters were powered by a gas-turbine electrical power plant in the aft end of the DC-6 fuselage; equipment similar in design to auxiliary power units later jet transport aircraft use for engine starting.

Other MPATI Links:

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dr. Colorado makes the Online Emporia Gazette

That's right, The Emporia Gazette covered Dr. Colorado's C2C award.....er.....uh....here - http://www.emporiagazette.com/news/2010/aug/21/briefcase/
So, what was the front page photo? The first place winner of the junior division of the ranch horse competition at the Flint Hills Beef Fest, of course! We know what's important in Emporia! (o.k., they did put her photo in the print edition) Update - a very small photo

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Congratulations, Dr. Colorado!

Join me in congratulating our own Dr. Zeni Colorado on receiving the 2010 Colleague 2 Colleague (C2C) Innovation in Teaching Award at the 11th Annual Summer Institute on Distance Learning and Instructional Technology (SIDLIT) Conference. Several of you were on hand at the conference to see her receive her much-deserved award!

The annual Innovation in Teaching Award is presented by C2C to the faculty member who best incorporates creative and innovative teaching strategies into his/her courses: Creates student-focused, learning-oriented innovations in technology to facilitate learning. Demonstrates best practices in online course design including innovative strategies that actively engage students. Actively pursues avenues for personal continuous improvement to facilitate the uses of technology in online learning.

C2C web site - http://www.c2conline.org/
SIDLIT web site - http://www.c2conline.org/sidlit/sidlit-2010