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Jul 27, 2010

CDW-G and NITLE Enable Virtual Learning, Shared Academics and Collaboration

CDW-G and NITLE Enable Virtual Learning, Shared Academics and CollaborationVERNON HILLS, Ill., and GEORGETOWN, Texas – July 27, 2010 – CDW Government LLC (CDW-G), a leading source of Information Technology (IT) solutions to educators and government, and the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE), a non-profit organization that helps liberal arts colleges integrate inquiry, pedagogy and technology, today announced a partnership to facilitate learning for students, expand curricular options and promote collaboration among faculties via telepresence technology.

The partnership greatly increases access to high definition (HD) video conferencing technology supported by CDW-G and LifeSize Communications, a division of Logitech, for NITLE’s 137 member institutions. Institutions using the telepresence solution will be able to connect with one another in ways that support rich, interactive learning. NITLE will collaborate with member institutions interested in using the technology to increase course offerings and share curricula.

“Partnering with CDW-G and LifeSize positions NITLE to create concrete opportunities for liberal arts colleges to explore the teaching potential of telepresence technology,” said W. Joseph King, executive director, NITLE. “With telepresence, our members can connect with academic expertise at other institutions and develop meaningful educational experiences to enhance the undergraduate student experience.”

King noted that NITLE plans to track its members’ efforts to develop learning opportunities via HD video conferencing, including their impact on achieving institutional goals and implications for academic programs. “We are excited about working with our members to understand how this technology can enable learning, and we expect to share our discoveries as they unfold over the next year,” King said.

“While smaller higher education institutions do not lack for depth of knowledge, they may not always have the breadth of faculty experts and course offerings that larger institutions do,” said Julie Smith, vice president, higher education, CDW-G. “HD video conferencing is the next wave of communication and education. CDW-G worked with its vendor partners to provide an HD telepresence solution that allows colleges to offer rich student-to-student and faculty-to-student connections that facilitate learning and engagement.”

“Today’s universities are challenged to prepare students for a future in a truly global environment,” said Joe Vitalone, vice president of sales, Americas, at LifeSize Communications. “HD video communication is a mainstream communication tool that encourages new levels of face-to-face instruction and collaboration. LifeSize is very proud to be the technology engine powering this exciting new platform.”

One of the first NITLE members to take advantage of the partnership will be the Consortium for Innovative Environments in Learning (CIEL), a network of higher education institutions focused on advancing innovations in student learning. CIEL’s Virtual Language Learning Project (VLLP) will use HD video conferencing to deliver immersive, interactive foreign language classes and language learning resources to students and faculty at liberal arts colleges.

“Our goal is to develop global citizens within the student body, partly through the adoption of a second language,” said Gret Antilla, executive director, CIEL. “The partnership between CDW-G, LifeSize, and NITLE – and the interactive learning environment that HD provides – allows us to offer resources our member colleges would not normally be able to afford. The technology will enable students and faculty to connect and interact seamlessly.”

For more information, please visit www.the21stcenturycampus.com.

About CDW-G
A wholly owned subsidiary of CDW LLC, ranked No. 41 on Forbes’ list of America’s Largest Private Companies, CDW Government LLC (CDW-G) is a leading provider of technology solutions for federal, state and local government agencies, as well as educational institutions at all levels. The company features dedicated account managers who help customers choose the right technology products and services to meet their needs. The company’s technology specialists and engineers offer expertise in designing customized solutions, while its advanced technology engineers can assist customers with the implementation and long-term management of those solutions. Areas of focus include notebooks, desktops, printers, servers and storage, unified communications, security, wireless, power and cooling, networking, software licensing and mobility solutions.

For more information about CDW-G product offerings, procurement options, service and solutions, call 1.800.808.4239, email cdwgsales@cdwg.com or visit the CDW-G Web site at CDWG.com.

About the National Institute for Technology in Liberal Education (NITLE)
NITLE (pronounced “nightly”) helps liberal arts colleges integrate inquiry, pedagogy, and technology. With the 137 institutions in its Network, NITLE works to enrich undergraduate education and strengthen the liberal arts tradition. Established in 2001 with support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NITLE is the key organization for liberal arts institutions seeking to engage students in the unique learning experience that liberal education provides and to use technology strategically to advance the liberal-arts mission. (www.nitle.org)