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 CINCINNATI, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- CBD, Inc., a subsidiary of Cincinnati Bell Inc. (NYSE: CSN), and Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) today announced that they have teamed up to market an "online interactive education system" (which they are calling Ole) developed by CBD, with the roll out of an innovative pilot program at Northern Kentucky University (NKU). CBD has developed a graphical user interface which allows students to use Apple Macintosh Computers to access the system. Apple Education Sales Consultants, as well as CBD, will be able to support the online interactive education system at colleges and universities.
 The system incorporates online computer communication to simplify and enhance coursework in an interactive learning environment outside the traditional physical constraints of classrooms and schedules. Online interactive education is designed to reduce or eliminate classroom meetings by allowing students to submit homework, communicate with instructors, pose questions or interact with other students while online. The system can also be used to enhance cable television or satellite transmitted classes.
 Thomas M. Fitzgerald, Apple regional manager, said, "Apple Computer's dedication to education is world renowned and the root of our corporation. Clearly, online education complements our Macintosh computer technology as well as our strategy in the education marketplace."
 CBD president Stephen L. Robertson said, "The online education system is easy to use, can be installed on any campus in a few days and uses existing telecommunications networks. These benefits are compatible with those offered by Macintosh computer systems and we believe this will make the advantages of online education easily available to any college or university."
 The pilot program, which begins today at Northern Kentucky University, isn't a test of the technology. The technology was trialed successfully last year when NKU used the system in conjunction with two classes offered by its departments of education and psychology. Rather, the pilot program is part of a market research initiative to determine parity with traditionally taught classes. Robertson said, "Last year's trial at NKU demonstrated that courses using our system have great educational value. The positive feedback we received from students and instructors clearly indicated this. However, we believe the market research will more clearly document and highlight specific areas that are enhanced by using online interactive education."
 The pilot program market research consists of six courses, each with a test and control section. Focus groups and phone interviews with students and instructors, as well as blind examinations of student performance levels, will be conducted to determine the level of achievement associated with online interactive education. Findings will be compiled at the end of the semester.
 As part of the pilot program, Cincinnati Computer Stores, the Apple education sales consultant for Northern Kentucky University, will provide after-sales support to students and instructors. Steve Miklavic, district sales manager at Cincinnati Computer Stores, said, "As an authorized dealer and education sales consultant for Apple, we're accustomed to bringing academic computing options to colleges and universities that deliver enhanced education. But CBD's online education system gives higher education institutions a way to attract new students and expand programs beyond classroom space limitations. We're pleased to be able to offer this system to the organizations we work with."
 Online interactive education allows colleges and universities to expand programs without additional classrooms and to meet the increasing needs of non-traditional students, which now near 50 percent of all students enrolled in continuing education according to the U.S. Department of Education. Non-traditional students are often working parents, advanced degree candidates, employees who require additional training and people seeking a second career.
 Sandra W. Easton, NKU's associate provost, believes universities must consider educational innovations like online interactive education as the number of non-traditional students continues to grow and state money continues to shrink.
 "CBD's online education system is going to allow us to push back the walls at NKU. We are going to be able to reach more students with more options. We received funding from the NKU Foundation and the Office of Research Grants and Contracts to support the project at NKU because we believe it gives us an extraordinary opportunity to increase enrollment and at the same time reduce operating expenses. For us it's a good strategic and economic decision," said Easton.
 Since news of the successful technology trial at NKU last semester, CBD has received a number of calls from universities in Ohio, Kentucky and nearby states expressing interest in the system. Robertson said the pilot program will provide valuable feedback about online interactive education, but would not delay immediate sales efforts. He said that discussions are already underway with universities that have inquired about the system.
 -0- 1/13/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: Photo of non-traditional student working on coursework from home via the online interactive education system available upon request/
 /CONTACT: Donna Noll of Powers and Associates, 513-721-5353, for Cincinnati Bell Inc./
 (CSN AAPL) CO: Cincinnati Bell Inc.; Apple Computer Inc. ST: Ohio IN: CPR SU: JVN

KK -- CL014 -- 9174 01/13/92 15:28 EST
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Date:Jan 13, 1992

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