New technology is allowing teachers at Lakewood Ranch High School to reach students in classrooms at Manatee, Palmetto, Braden River and Palmetto high schools.
The technology, which features more than 100 miles of underground conduit and fiber-optic cables, allows teachers to see and interact with students via video. The technology was developed through the work of Manatee County Public School’s Network Services Team under the leadership of Vince Hoaglin and a partnership among the district, Manatee County government and the Florida Department of Transportation.
In the past, the Manatee School District budgeted more than $300,000 per year to lease copper and fiber data transmission lines from various vendors. The new technology resulted in a one-time capital cost for the school district of $9.5 million to install the conduit and fiber-optic cables. Now that the district owns the data transmission system, it will no longer have to use operating funds to pay the annual leases.