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TRO Learning Signs Strategic Contract With BC TEL Interactive to Deliver PLATO® on the Internet to Schools and Homes


TRO Learning grants BC TEL Interactive exclusive rights to distribute PLATO courseware via the Internet to schools and homes in British Columbia



MINNEAPOLIS, MINN., April 21, 1997 TRO Learning, Inc. announced today it has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with BC TEL Interactive, a subsidiary of BC TEL of British Columbia, to distribute PLATO® on the Internet to schools and homes in the province. This is the first strategic partnership between TRO Learning and a regional telephone company to create an electronic distribution channel for PLATO courseware. BC TEL Interactive account managers will actively sell PLATO courseware as part of their Sympatico Internet Service, offering a specially-configured version that will be tailored to meet the unique educational mandates of the British Columbia Ministry of Education. As part of the agreement, TRO Learning will provide BC TEL Interactive customers a full range of implementation support, including on-site training, hotline support, and consulting services.

BC TEL Interactive provides an educational network for collaboration, exploration, and discovery on the Internet through its Discover Learning Web site on Sympatico. BC TEL Discovery Learning currently provides products and services, including Internet access, video conferencing, in-service training, computer hardware and software, and technology consulting, to more than 40 percent of the schools in British Columbia and anticipates serving nearly 50 percent of the province's schools by 1998. PLATO courseware will form the cornerstone of academic content for middle and high school students for Learn On-Line, Discover Learning's distance learning resource. Given the significant volume of this agreement, TRO Learning is able to offer Sympatico customers "Advantage Pricing." Schools will be able to purchase low-cost access to PLATO on the Internet for their students through volume discount agreements and, for the first time, home users will be able to purchase PLATO courseware via on-line credit card transactions.

"This agreement," commented William R. Roach, chairman and CEO for TRO Learning, "represents a new era in the widespread distribution of PLATO computer-based education products. For the first time in the history of our industry, TRO Learning is offering students access to comprehensive, fully-managed educational services via the Internet. In British Columbia alone, Sympatico will extend the reach of PLATO to 170,000 students. We also see significant potential for this partnership with BC TEL Interactive to provide access to PLATO courseware to home-schoolers and business and industry in the province."

Mr. Roach went on to say, "To be able to deliver the entire PLATO courseware library to any student on any computer at any time, anywhere in the world represents a major paradigm shift for the training and education industry. It is exciting that TRO Learning is leading this transformation." He concluded, "This is the first of many Internet Service Provider agreements planned for world-wide distribution of PLATO courseware."

Alan Wilson, managing director of Internet Services for BC TEL Interactive, remarked, "PLATO is the only product available that is capable of supporting the British Columbia Ministry's educational mandates for secondary students. Its depth and breadth in reading, writing, mathematics, and other academic and work skills areas make it the ideal foundation for our Learn On-Line initiative." He summarized, "This partnership has a significant impact for both parties as Sympatico is the number one Internet Service Provider in Canada. With PLATO on the Internet, our Advantage Pricing structure, and tailored Discover Learning services, BC TEL Interactive and TRO Learning are introducing the world's first full-service learning system available on the Internet."

BC TEL Interactive, a division of BC TEL, develops and markets a wide range of interactive and multimedia services in British Columbia, Canada. Services currently include: Sympatico Internet Service, interactive voice response (IVR) services, electronic commerce applications, and interactive applications, including the Super, Natural British Columbia Reservation Service and Discover Camping campground reservation service in the tourism industry.

TRO Learning is the leading developer and marketer of microcomputer-based, interactive, self-paced instructional systems. With revenues in excess of $40 million, TRO Learning, Inc. is a publicly held company traded as TUTR on the NASDAQ-NMS. Offering more than 5,000 hours of comprehensive academic and applied skills courseware designed for young adult and adult learners, PLATO Learning Systems are marketed to middle and high schools, colleges, job training programs, correctional institutions, military education programs, and corporations. The PLATO Learning System is delivered via networks, CD-ROM, the Internet, and private intranets. TRO Learning's training group markets technology-based aviation training products to airlines worldwide for use in training commercial airline pilots, maintenance crews, and cabin personnel, as well as customized development and training solutions to businesses to meet their industry-specific training requirements.

TRO Learning is an international training and education company with headquarters located at 4660 West 77th Street, Edina, Minnesota 55435, (612) 832-1000 or (800) 869-2000. TRO's executive offices are located at Poplar Creek Office Plaza, 1721 Moon Lake Boulevard, Suite 555, Hoffman Estates, Illinois 60194, (847) 781-7800. TRO Learning has domestic offices located throughout the United States, and international offices in the United Kingdom, China, and throughout Canada. TRO Learning has international distributors located in Brunei, Costa Rica, Korea, Malaysia, Panama, Puerto Rico, Singapore, South Africa, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates. TRO Learning's Web site address on the Internet's World Wide Web is www.tro.com

 

Contact: Diane Welter
Communications Manager
TRO Learning, Inc.
800.869.2000, ext. 1560




® PLATO is a registered trademark of The Roach Organization, Inc.
Sympatico is a trademark of Media Links Interactive, Limited Partnership

 

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