DHS plans distance learning pilots for border patrol

The Homeland Security Department is looking for vendors of interactive distance learning solutions to train as many as 40,000 customs and border patrol employees.

The Customs and Border Protection bureau needs to train employees more effectively and is considering using video to communicate directly with workers.

It published a request for information Jan. 27, seeking "a two-way communications network: video-to-the-desktop" to deliver training to employees.

The bureau's Office of Training and Development is considering pilot programs this year, in its words, to determine whether video-to-the-desktop can offer equivalent training when compared to other types, such as classroom training.

The system must be secure from outside interference and must operate in real time on a one-to-one, one-to-many and many-to-many basis. It also must be flexible to include video-on-demand and wireless networking, with search capabilities and the ability to perform live polling and testing with immediate display of results.

For teaching purposes, the system must be able to display live an instructor who can be seen and heard by trainees on their computers in remote locations.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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