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Information Education

Taiwan Academic Network (TANet)

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  • Post Date: 07/06/2006

Taiwan Academic Network

Taiwan Academic Network (TANet) is a national computer network for educational and research purposes that was established in July 1980 by various major universities and the MOE. Its main objective is to facilitate teaching and research activities for schools and research institutions of all levels nationwide in an effort to share resources and provide opportunities for cooperation.

Currently, the TANet environment is jointly managed by the Ministry of Education, the National Science Council and Academia Sinica in order to provide schools of all levels with an information infrastructure for application in the areas of education, learning, and academic research.

TANet presently provides students, teachers, and employees of schools of all levels (including extension schools) with network services. As of 2006, network services are available to an estimated 3.99million people.

Currently, the connection rate to TANet by colleges and universities has reached 100%. About 4,000 primary and secondary schools are also connected to TANet. The Computer Center notes that in regard to the two initiatives of ‘E-mail for Primary and Secondary Schools' to the current ‘TANet to Primary and Secondary Schools' all primary, secondary, vocational, and special education schools have reached the originally planned targets. With science and technology making rapid advances, the initiative ‘Optic Fiber for Schools' is underway. Web access speed has been raised from 2M to 10M and even to 100M . This is growth of 5-50 times and is hoped to further facilitate internet use by students and teachers. So far, about 60% of all schools have completed installation of optic fiber. However, schools in remote areas need to work harder in this regard due to certain hardware constraints they face.

Organizational operation of satellite systems

TANet's mode of operation is built around MOE, whilst its organizational operation uses a layered satellite system. It includes LAN Center schools for which MOE, Academia Sinica, NSC and various universities are responsible for; as well as the Taiwan Academic Network Executive Committee which is made up of 32 members. The committee members are heads of information units that include representatives from bureaus of education to which educational network centers of some counties/cities belong, as well as experts and academics. Under the committee, there is also a Technical Group and a Group for the Supervision of Information Use.

At the same time, nine LAN Centers have been established across the nation with 12 national universities responsible for the maintenance and operation of the centers. The centers provide schools of all levels in various counties/cities with technical consultation, training and promotion, operation and coordination, as well as network connections between these schools and Education Network Centers in various counties and cities. In the future, these centers will play the role of supervising information security and managing improper information. 

Network framework

1. Domestic backbone network

This is the backbone network built by MOE and the National Center for High-Performance Computing of National Applied Research Laboratories which is under the NSC. It connects various LAN Centers and county/city education network centers. Sparq and APBB currently provide connection services to the network and the LAN Center connection bandwidth is 10G or 2.5G .

At the same time, in order to unify the bandwidth of all counties/cities across the nation and that of the education network center of all counties/cities to 2G , as well as to meet the needs of offshore islands (Penghu, Kinmen, and Mazu), and in order to avoid a digital gap, a bandwidth of 100M has been established.

2. International backbone network

MOE, NSC and Academia Sinica have jointly established web connections with Europe, America , Japan , HK, and Singapore , with costs allocated proportionately so that bandwidth resources can be shared.

3. Inter-school network and external network

One hundred percent of colleges and universities are connected to TANet. In 2006, 90% of them had raised their bandwidth to Fast Ethernet ( 100M ) or Gigabit ( 1,000M ).

Primary, secondary, vocational, and special education (including branches) schools across the nation have completed connection to TANet using ADSL or T1 dedicated lines. The total number of primary and secondary schools that have completed such connections is about 4,000.

4. Wireless networks in school campuses

In order to achieve the goal of “information at the click of a fingertip, active learning is fun, cooperation creates new ideas, knowledge lasts for a life time” as outlined in the information education blueprint, in recent years colleges and universities have been actively building wireless network environments. One hundred and sixty two colleges and universities across the nation have completely or partially completed infrastructure for wireless web access, with 57 of them having completed installation of wireless roaming interconnections in cooperation with the national M Taiwan project. In addition, 147 primary and junior high schools in Yilan County have also completed installation of wireless roaming interconnections. In the future, these connections will be able to provide schools with learning environments free of spatial limitations.

SmartKid website to be launched in September

With the technological developments of the past few years, people in all circles have become concerned about the issue of intellectual property rights. Correct web ethics and legal concepts have to be ingrained into the minds of users.

As web communication is anonymous, private, borderless, bidirectional and autonomous, and because web access has been extended to primary, secondary schools and families, it is no longer so difficult to access. It is a well known fact to everyone that information can flow over the web extremely easily. Nevertheless, due to its open, convenient and anonymous nature, the darker sides of human nature are also easier to be found on the internet. Being rife with improper information makes the web highly dangerous to the physical and psychological safety of minors. Therefore, how to protect primary and secondary school students from being harmed by coming into contact with improper information, without hampering the flow of information has become one of the key areas for the supervision of web use.

The Computer Center has indicated that a SmartKid website is to be established in September-October this year through TANet. This is a website designed specifically for primary school students in an effort to further their knowledge of the internet, give them an understanding of the web environment and the dangers hidden in the web world and teach them how to protect themselves in cyber space.

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