Clio computer net already looking to catch the next generation

By Stepben Lee
Genesee County Herald
February 2, 1994

CLIO- A nine year old with the chicken pox, sits in his bedroom furiously typing in front of a glowing computer screen.

The boy isn't playing Street Fighter II or Starfox. Instead, he's accessing his homework assignments from Edgerton Elementary.

This scenario isn't science fiction, in fact it's only a few years from becoming reality.

Clio Schools is the only district in the county using a computer network with a fiber optic back bone, which gives individual computers access to powerful programs on centrally located server units. The network was installed four years ago by the Grand Blanc based firm of Bit by Bit Computing. Last week, Bit by Bit educational consultant Mark Christenson and firm president Greg Neuffer toured the growing Clio network.

The fiber optic network links the Clio Administration Building, Community Education, Art Center, Service Center, High School and Middle School. The network also links the district into the Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) and the General Motors Institute (GMI),

The GISD link allows Clio to take over services such as student scheduling, that it once paid the intermediate district to do. The link to GMI serves as kind of an "on ramp" to the information superhighway, giving Clio access to other networks across the planet.

Currently, the student end of the Clio network includes two computer labs at the high school, two labs at the middle school and computers in the adult education program. There are also plans to tie in a newly computerized typing lab at the high school to the network within the current year.

However, according to Clio computer chief, Duane Edman the major goal is to fully bring the district's three elementary schools into the network. Right now, Edgerton, Lacure and Garner can access the network by remote dial-in, which is slow and cumbersome. The best alternative would be to link the elementary schools through fiber optics. Unfortunately a $150,000 price tag all but rules out fiber optics. The most practical option is to enlist the aid of cable television companies to link the schools with coaxial cable, at a cost of about $4,000 per school.


Bit by Bit Computing
 5233 McCandlish Rd.
Grand Blanc, MI 48439