JISC RSC Northwest Newsletter

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Stories in the August issue include: 1. North West projects given the JISC funding thumbs-up 2. A two page spread on our Annual Event 3. How to loan our assistive technology box of kit 4. Recognition of Innovation Award winners 5. New pilots for Adult Education; and 6. NWs cloud computing success

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<ul><li><p>JISC RSC Northwest Newsletter </p><p>August 2012 </p><p> RSCs - stimulating and supporting innovation in learning </p><p>Three North West colleges have so far been successful in gaining JISC funding as part of the UK-wide FE and Skills Development and Resources programme. Ashton Sixth Form, Beaumont College and Kendal College are the first regionally to be given the go-ahead for their bids. Ashton Sixth Form plans to use their funding to produce an app across multiple platforms to help and engage students in their planning and monitoring of time and workload. The idea is to sync this app with the college MIS system to populate students </p><p>timetables and to allow students to add events such as submission of work, exam, test or homework deadlines and meetings within college. </p><p>Beaumont Colleges </p><p>proposal is to meet the </p><p>demand for support with </p><p>Assistive Technology (AT) </p><p>and development and </p><p>training of AT focussed </p><p>staff. This is in order to </p><p>enhance the disabled </p><p>learners experience </p><p>through the effective use </p><p>of AT tools/approaches for </p><p>independence and self-</p><p>determination. The College </p><p>has successfully led the </p><p>DART Disseminating </p><p>Assistive roles and </p><p>Technology LSIS funded </p><p>project for 2010-12 and </p><p>wants to continue to assist </p><p>colleges that wish to </p><p>participate. </p><p>Kendal Colleges project </p><p>aims to build on its </p><p>creation of the worlds first </p><p>Further Education </p><p>Augmented Reality (AR) </p><p>prospectus. Continued p2 </p><p>In this issue </p><p> Bridge Colleges Bruno Mars performance P3 </p><p> Annual Event extravaganza P4-5 </p><p> Assistive technology trial kit P6 </p><p> ROI Award winners P7 </p><p> New pilots for Adult Education P8 </p><p> NWs cloud computing success P8+9 </p><p>Local projects given JISC funding thumbs-up </p><p>The funding programme aims to improve the learner experience through technology. </p></li><li><p>The AR technology allows the viewing of real time videos through the portal of a standard picture. The college wants to develop this further to improve teaching and learning through introducing AR within learning materials. </p><p>Their submission is to pilot this idea in Plumbing because a high proportion of plumbing students are assessed as visual learners and it is thought this format of supporting and enhancing the learning experience is likely to be successful. Nationally 245 bids were received for the JISC Advance programme and a number of projects have already been approved covering all aspects of the UK sector. Although this was a fantastic response, half of these bids were submitted on the last day so there is an unfortunate delay in marking submissions. As a result the timescale </p><p>for projects has been updated: </p><p> Small projects (up to 50,000) will run for six months from September 2012 to January 2013 </p><p> Large projects (over 50,000) will start from September 2012 and must complete by October 2013, depending on the circumstances of individual bidders. RSC Northwest Manager, Paul Deane, says; We </p><p>are delighted that three of our colleges will receive funding to improve the learner experience, I look forward to seeing these projects come into fruition and we will help to disseminate relevant findings to the wider FE and Skills community. Our apologies to those that have not heard about their bids yet, all the RSCs are pulling together to get these marked as soon as possible and letters will go out to all Learning Providers by August 7th to let them know if they are successful and the reasoning for this decision. A progress update can be found via http://bit.ly/fes-drp. </p><p>Thanks to those who took part in the RSC Northwests short survey asking about the three key challenges facing you and your organisation in the coming year and the three things you would like the RSC to help you with. The feedback is appreciated and has been used in a planning exercise for the coming year. Responses were separated into themes and below are the top scoring results: Your three key challenges: 1. Funding 2. Technology for learning 3. Student numbers Three areas you would like our help with: 1. Staff development 2. Technology for learning 3. Business Processes, in particular funding support (70% of these responses). </p><p>Local projects get JISC funding (continued) Three challenges survey </p><p>Bids will make a significant contribution to developing technology in the sector. </p></li><li><p>A fond farewell to Hilary </p><p>Thomas who has finished her secondment at the </p><p>Northwest Regional Support Centre (RSC) after </p><p>nearly four years as </p><p>eLearning adviser for the Higher Education sector. </p><p> Hilary has left to take up a </p><p>new post as Co-ordinator for Research, Training and </p><p>Learning Services in ISS </p><p>support at Lancaster University. </p><p> She says that what she </p><p>enjoyed most about her </p><p>role in the RSC was the tremendous breadth of </p><p>knowledge and skills of the colleagues she worked with </p><p> both in the RSC team and those working in </p><p>Learning Providers in the </p><p>region. </p><p>Bridge College marks move with Bruno Mars performance Staff and students from </p><p>Bridge College paid a special visit to the builders </p><p>working on their new Openshaw Campus site at </p><p>The Manchester College to </p><p>teach them Makaton sign language. </p><p> You can watch the Wates </p><p>Construction team, in the </p><p>video opposite, trying out </p><p>Hilary adds; It is the connection with people </p><p>that makes the role of the Regional Support Centre so </p><p>distinct and I shall truly miss the mix of contacts </p><p>that brings. </p><p> Ive learned such a lot about all sorts - about people and their ways of </p><p>working, about the different attitudes and </p><p>learning cultures that (continued above) </p><p>the newly learned sign language to the Bruno </p><p>Mars classic, Marry You. </p><p>characterise different </p><p>sectors, about technologies </p><p>and the ways they can be used. </p><p>Its been a privilege to have worked with the </p><p>RSC and it's given me much to take away that </p><p>will help me in my new role. It doesn't end </p><p>here, mind, I'm an RSC </p><p>services 'user' now. </p><p>eLearning Adviser Mark </p><p>Ayton has now taken over responsibility for </p><p>supported providers in Higher Education and </p><p>can be contacted using </p><p>email ma@rsc-northwest.ac.uk or by </p><p>phone on 01524 510060. </p><p>The College will move to the new campus in </p><p>September this year. </p><p>Pastures new for eLearning Adviser </p><p>Goodbye to Hilary Thomas. </p></li><li><p>Using social media to engage learners, discovering new emerging technologies and trying out the latest exhibitor kit were just some of the things enjoyed by delegates at JISC RSC Northwests Annual Event on June 27th. An impressive 233, delegates, presenters and exhibitors from a range of North West Learning Providers and suppliers made it to Southport for the All the Fun of the (technology) Fair event. </p><p>Delegates arriving at Southport Theatre and Convention Centre were greeted with fun fair music, balloons and bunting and were given the opportunity to choose a </p><p>pick and mix of sessions they wished to attend. Of those who gave feedback about the day, 98% rated it excellent or good. Exhibitor Linda Lamb, Assistant Manager of Engineering and Construction from West Cheshire College said; It has been absolutely fantastic, its been so much more than we thought and weve been busy all day with visitors. We also had a chance to share apps and learn new things we can use to make the learner experience more enjoyable. Tim Blackburn, UcLAN eLearning Developer added; I found it really useful. I particularly enjoyed the eAssessment for Work Based Learning session and learning about remote learners. </p><p>A host of JISC RSC resources are available from eFairs that have taken place across the UK for Learning Providers to benefit from. The events showcase technology in teaching and learning through workshops, online sessions, hands-on expertise and guidance. Click on the first link to access recordings, links and presentations from the North West event and access all others from the link below: </p><p> North Wests All the Fun of the Technology fair </p><p> UK wide eFair resources. </p><p>All the Fun of the eFair resources </p><p>Preston College shows visitors a range of technologies from their Beacon award-winning Innovation and Excellence Room. </p><p>Presenter Gary Cookson from Wigan and Leigh College gets attendees thinking about technology in teacher education. </p></li><li><p>Attendees at RSC annual </p><p>events in the North West and </p><p>East Midlands were asked </p><p>how they are currently using, </p><p>and planning to use </p><p>technology in the next year. </p><p>Interviews provide valuable </p><p>insight to the RSCs on </p><p>areas which Learning </p><p>Providers are interested in. </p><p>Filming was done through </p><p>using miituu software on </p><p>an iPad supplied by </p><p>exhibitors SBP Digital. </p><p>There are 13 North West </p><p>interviews from a range of </p><p>supported providers. </p><p>Click below to see what was </p><p>said... </p><p>Twitter users were out in force using #nwae12 for the Annual Event. 295 tweets were received under the event hash tag leading up to and at the event. Tweeters also got to see what was being said on a tweet wall displayed in the exhibitors area on the day. Key words from #nwae12 tweets have been put into a wordle below so you can see the topics that gained the most mentions. </p><p>Technology Fair Tweeting up a storm </p><p>Video Responses from delegates on their technology use </p></li><li><p> A Kindle to read ebooks. </p><p> A Mantra Lingua recorder pen. Small white stickers can have audio notes attached which are played back when the pen touches them. </p><p> A Livescribe smartpen. Records audio along with your handwritten notes. Use the pen to touch </p><p>any handwritten notes and the pen plays back the audio that was recorded at that moment; and; </p><p> A Digital Dictionary Bookmark. </p><p> Three colleges have borrowed the assistive technology box of kit to date. The outcomes of these loans have included: </p><p> Learning providers buying some of the devices to support learners </p><p> ALS staff producing a list of devices which learners might want to </p><p>buy for themselves, particularly those learners who are moving onto Higher Education </p><p> The limitations of some devices being identified, which has helped providers prioritise how to make the most of resources available and; </p><p> Staff and students working together to </p><p>come up with innovative uses for some of the devices. If you would like to be next in line for the kit, contact eLearning Adviser </p><p>Kevin Hickey on kh@rsc-northwest.ac.uk. He will deliver an overview/ training session to staff using it. After two weeks Kevin will collect the equipment and learning providers will fill in a report of how useful they found each of the items and what they plan to do as a result of the loan. The box of kit is being expanded for the next academic year and will include: An iPad and an Android tablet loaded with assistive apps, a scanner mouse, a Kobo ebook reader and a RNIB penfriend. </p><p>A growing assortment of useful technologies to support those with learning difficulties is now available from JISC RSC Northwest for a two week loan. The aim of the equipment is to offer staff the opportunity to get a better understanding of some of the devices which might not be traditionally thought of as assistive technology, but can really help learners. Inside the technology box youll find: </p><p> A Nintendo DS with games </p><p> A Digital note taker. This is a device which clips onto the side of a writing pad, which can then be connected to a computer and all handwritten notes can be uploaded. It also includes software which converts the image of the handwritten text into digital text. </p><p> (Continued above) </p><p>Assistive Technology Box of Kit Try Our </p></li><li><p>Seven Recognition of Innovation (ROI) award winners have been announced for 2012. </p><p>For the second year running the ROIs celebrate the improvements and transformations that individuals and organisations in the North West are making in the sector through the use of technology. </p><p>The winners of the RSC Northwest award are: </p><p>Dan Hodge, Kendal College for his original use of Augmented Reality (AR) to create the worlds first AR prospectus for FE. </p><p>Scott Anderton, Hopwood Hall College for his innovative use of touchscreen technology for teaching and learning. </p><p>Simon Channell, for Xaverian Colleges bespoke and award-winning VLE/ ILP intranet system. </p><p>Tracey Holt, Tameside College, for her dynamic use of Triptico in Hair and Beauty. </p><p>Rob Clarke , King George V 6th Form College, for enabling students to run their magazine entirely online through its VLE. </p><p> eBrary team, Sylvia Haggett, Bethan Bligh, Patrick Veale, Warrington Collegiate, for creating a valuable pop-up training centre in their LRC. </p><p>Diane Broughton and Dawn Wilkinson, Wirral Metropolitan College for developing their Functional Skills Online English Course on their Moodle. </p><p>RSC Manager Paul Deane said; We really enjoyed learning about these innovative practices and plan to write case studies on each winner so others can learn from </p><p>what has been achieved. </p><p>One thing the winning projects all have in common is that they innovate and take their organisation forward in some significant way, helping these organisations to deliver effective and efficient teaching and learning. </p><p>Click here for full details. </p><p>Recognising your Innovation </p><p>The Recognition of Innovation Award winners, or those that nominated them, are pictured with their awards alongside RSC Manager Paul Deane far right. </p></li><li><p>North West colleges have come out trumps by putting forward several winning bids for The Association of Colleges (AoC) cloud computing fund. </p><p>Seven colleges in the region have been announced as winners of the project money, the highest for any area nationally. The Collaboration and Shared Services Board allocated 1 million for Cloud projects from the Grant Fund. Managed by the Association of Colleges the aim is to progress Cloud Computing in Further Education Colleges through a range of project activities. Colleges were invited to bid for individual projects and 36 projects were selected by the Committee. These projects have been divided into two categories; Category one projects are defined as Software as a service (SaaS), when software and its associated data are hosted centrally by the Cloud Computing Provider and the organisation accesses it when and where required. Category two projects are defined as Infrastructure as </p><p>a Service (IaaS), when a College effectively outsources the IT equipment used to support operations. This includes storage, hardware, servers and network components. The North West winning projects are: Accrington and Rossendale College This is a consortium project from four partner Colleges in the Lancashire Shared Services Project for a Microsoft 365 Plan A2 service. This will provide storage and capacity for staff and learners across these Colleges. A key benefit will be improved anytime anywhere access to students and staff. Bolton College This is for access to Google Apps (for education) and Google's Cloud based operating system Google Chrome. It will enable work based assessors to deliver and record live learning, tracking and feedback, progress and achievement from a variety of work based locations...</p></li></ul>