I showed up for breakfast Monday morning on Cajundome Boulevard and ended up in China, guided by two dozen Mandarin-speaking first and second graders and their teachers from Alice Boucher Elementary. The 75 adults at LUS’ Fiber for Breakfast event watched a lively, confident and comfortable exchange via live streaming video between the tiny students and an instructor in China, discussing Chinese geography, common daily tasks and the relative strengths of different types of dragons. Who knew?

Slated as part of INNOV8 Lafayette, LUS’ presentation focused on its broadband strength and the asset it represents for education in local schools. Judging from crowd comments, there were lots of  “a-ha moments” about what’s already available and what’s possible given the foundation in place.

In the course of two hours, we were treated an impressive array of existing programs, including a virtual tour of the LPSS eCampus, now teaching 900-plus students over 40 courses, ranging from art to physics, including some advanced placement offerings not available on all campuses. Soon to be added: green planning/engineering and game design.

Students from the Academy of Information Technology at Carencro High demonstrated their expertise at virtual reality design projects (couple of notes: Watch for a report on AOIT in an upcoming edition of NBC’s Rock Center with Brian Williams. And, thought you might want to know that AOIT summer interns are available!).

St. Thomas More Principal Dr. Audrey Menard outlined the much-vaunted and impressive one-to-one tablet program adopted school-wide on her campus this school year. To accommodate the need for all STM faculty and students to be online at one time, the school is LUS’ first gigabyte-per-second customer.

The grand finale demo with the Chinese immersion kids gave a live example of the many ways LPSS is using LUS fiber to enhance learning in many languages.

LUS’ Fiber for Breakfast is part of INNOV8 Lafayette, a week-long showcase of Lafayette’s abundant assets to build a successful 21st century economy. For more, click here.

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