The Department of Defense is expanding a pilot program that lets soldiers studying foreign languages access training resources on .edu web sites, instead of having all of their training housed in the secure yet restrictive .mil domain.
The program began in February with 200 students studying Dari, a dialect spoken in Afghanistan, at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center in California.
“This innovation lets us go on to open-source websites in order to quickly gather the information we need and link up with websites that have our target language on them,” said Army Sgt. Noah Mott. “We as a military unit have been able to use them in a way that better helps us understand our foreign language.”
The school is in the process of procuring the required equipment so it can begin building out the network and data center this fall to increase the amount of educational resources at its disposal.
“By fall 2012, we should be fully migrated to the edu network,” said Jonathan Russell, the language center’s chief technology officer, “At that point, we will be giving students the same tools the leading universities are using — giving them connectivity and putting them at the forward edge of learning.”