RSC East Midlands newsletter "intouch" - Autumn 2003

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The JISC Regional Support Centre (RSC) for the East Midlands produces a termly newsletter "intouch" that highlights current practice in e-learning/ILT in the region.


<ul><li><p>Autumn Volume 1 Issue 4</p><p>the termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands</p><p>Welcomefrom the Editor</p><p>As the new academic year gets underway, I am pleased to announce that RSCEast Midlands has been granted JISC funding for another three years. </p><p>This will enable us to continue to work alongside you all, offering you guidance and support as the use</p><p>of ILT becomes more widespread in the teaching and learning process. On a personal note, I am</p><p>particularly happy to be given the opportunity to continue to build on the excellent working</p><p>relationships I have formed with so many of you and I hope to replicate this as our remit expands to</p><p>include support for specialist colleges and higher education, in particular small HEIs.</p><p>Id like to take this opportunity to wish you all success in the coming year and if we can be of help in</p><p>any way please do get in touch. As always, if you have any comments about this newsletter, or you</p><p>would like to contribute an article, perhaps for the College Focus section of the next newsletter, email</p><p>us at support@rsc-east-midlands</p><p>Judi Millage, ILT Advisor</p><p>Newark and district boasts good relationships and</p><p>strong links between its schools and the college.</p><p>NELI (Newark Extended Learning Initiative) aims to</p><p>develop further cooperation and teamwork by</p><p>promoting and encouraging better use of ICT across</p><p>the full spectrum of education and training. </p><p>Based in Newark &amp; Sherwood College, NELI is a</p><p>team of education and ICT specialists together with</p><p>extensive business experience promoting the</p><p>benefits of e-learning. Our primary aim is to</p><p>encourage resource sharing, developing skills and</p><p>training teachers, tutors and trainers in effective use</p><p>of the technologies. We are not limiting ourselves to</p><p>the schools and college: the private, public and</p><p>voluntary sectors are also key partners in this project.</p><p>NELI not only promotes resource sharing and</p><p>training but the project is providing the ICT</p><p>infrastructure to enjoy seamless communication.</p><p>Wireless networks have been designed to be leaky,</p><p>enabling both children and parents to benefit from</p><p>home education opportunities with school laptops. It</p><p>is possible for teachers to visit another school, to log-</p><p>on and be able to access resources or their pupils</p><p>records from their own school. This suggests the</p><p>possibility of teacher sharing: the costs of teachers</p><p>shared between schools, or being able to employ a</p><p>specialist teacher, the costs of whom could not</p><p>otherwise be justified. Equally a pupil in the</p><p>secondary school may attend college (or visa versa)</p><p>with a laptop and still be able to draw on personal</p><p>files or shared resources located on their schools</p><p>own network.</p><p>Importantly NELI has a role in the proof of concept.</p><p>We have an enormous opportunity to evaluate</p><p>different ways of doing things. As the technologies</p><p>emerge, schools and businesses fitted out later in the</p><p>project may have significantly different</p><p>infrastructures and methods of working than those at</p><p>the beginning. The key is that all will have the same</p><p>connectivity to shared resources.</p><p>NELI relies on collaboration &amp; cooperation between</p><p>many institutions with its foundations in a strong</p><p>partnership approach between North Nottinghamshire</p><p>Learning Partnership, Nottinghamshire County</p><p>Council and the Learning and Skills Council.</p><p>Sharing is crucial to the success of NELI; the team</p><p>welcomes contact from interested parties, whether it</p><p>is for more information, or sharing expertise and</p><p>experience or suggestions on how we may continue</p><p>to push the barriers of e-learning for the benefit of</p><p>the whole learning community.</p><p>Melvin Millard, NELI e-learning Team Leader</p><p> 01636 680680 x 277</p><p>Newark andSherwood College</p><p>C O L L E G EFOCUS</p><p>I N S I D ET h i s i s s u e</p><p>Meet the new ManagerShe came up to me when I was having a coffee before the weekly expeditionaround Sainsburys. You wont remember me, she said, but you were myeconomics tutor twenty years ago. Id decided to give up my A level courseand get a job, but you told me that if I wanted to go to university later, I could. That stuck in my mind, and now Ivedecided to go for it. I start next week. I just wanted to say thank you for what you said. And she walked away.</p><p>Welcome </p><p>Meet the new Manager</p><p>The Technical Advisory Service forImages: An introduction</p><p>JISC Services: Whats on offer?</p><p>RDN Virtual Training Suite: Five newinternet tutorials for FE students</p><p>Specialist Colleges Connect to JANET</p><p>University for Industry</p><p>Forthcoming Events</p><p>College Focus: Newark and SherwoodCollege</p><p>Hints &amp; Tips: Investigate your CollegeInternet Connectivity Problems</p><p>Forthcoming</p><p>EVENTS</p><p>intouch</p><p>Netsight is a JANET monitoring service developed byUKERNA. It allows colleges to investigate their ownInternet connectivity problems. </p><p>The service consists of a number of small monitoringstations deployed at set points around the edge of theJANET backbone, one for each of the JANET regionalnetworks. The East Midlands Metropolitan Area Networkruns the monitoring system in our region. The EMMANconstantly monitors JANETs links to the Internet and tothe local regional network. </p><p>The Netsight website can be found at The informationspecific to your college is protected by a uniqueusername and password. If you are unsure of yourusername details, please contact either JANET CustomerService ( or RSC EastMidlands ( </p><p>Once logged in, the Netsight system greets the user withthree main choices: </p><p>1. Backbone: this monitors the performance of the wholeof JANET. This information is made available in bothtabular and graphical formats. If any of the nodes herewere displaying the connection down symbol then thiswould explain any regional connection difficulties. Forexample you may be able to reach a college downsouth, but if any of the northern Metropolitan AreaNetworks were down you would experience problemsconnecting to anything in the northern region.</p><p>2. External: this monitors the performance of JANETs linksto the rest of the Internet, such as the circuits to the US andthe connection to the LINX (London Internet Exchange).Here would be the first place to check if you were havingproblems connecting to sites overseas. For example if youcouldnt connect to, but had no problems</p><p>with, then it would be quite likely that one ofthe transatlantic nodes were non-operational. </p><p>3. Regional: this monitors the performance and trafficlevels on all the JANET customer access links within thelocal regional network. The information collected,covering traffic levels, packet loss and latency, is tailoredand made available to each individual college. To accessthis information you have to be logged into Netsight.Once logged in an option to display Your Sites appearsin the Regional section. This information is usefulbecause firstly it allows the user to see whether theircollege can actually see the outside world at all.Secondly, by clicking on Traffic it can notify a college ofany abnormal network activity. And thirdly by clicking onReliability, any downtime or dropouts in connectivitycan be inspected and subsequently investigated. </p><p>Chris Bell, e-Information Officer</p><p>w w w. r s c - e a s t - m i d l a n d s . a c . u k w w w. r s c - e a s t - m i d l a n d s . a c . u k</p><p>Smart use of Smart Technology:The NELI Project</p><p>October28th ILT Forum</p><p>November6th Technical Forum10th MIS Forum19th Project Management24th-25th Ferl Annual Conference26th LRC Forum27th Microsoft Technology Day</p><p>December2nd Freedom of Information &amp;</p><p>Records Management9th Using ILT in Health &amp;</p><p>Social Care11th Plagiarism &amp; Electronic</p><p>Copyright Workshops</p><p>January13th Using the Internet for</p><p>Learning &amp; Teaching in FE14th E-learning: Creating,</p><p>Converting &amp; Re-usingcontent with VLEs</p><p>21st Using ILT in PE &amp; SportScience</p><p>For further details see our</p><p>Investigate your College Internet Connectivity ProblemsH i n t s &amp; T i p s</p><p>Its because teaching touches lives that I work in education. I come to East</p><p>Midlands RSC from City of Bath College where I was ILT Development</p><p>Leader and subject leader for teacher training courses, responsible for the</p><p>development and implementation of ILT strategy. I have</p><p>also recently worked with City &amp; Guilds as a verifier,</p><p>Edexcel, FENTO and the LSDA as E-Learning Support</p><p>Network Co-ordinator for the south west.</p><p>To me, ILT is not an end in itself but a tool in the</p><p>toolkit available to teachers, support staff and</p><p>managers. It is just another tool, to be</p><p>selected when appropriate, but with a</p><p>particular strength in giving learners</p><p>ownership of their learning, so that it really</p><p>is student centred. ILT makes learning</p><p>more accessible to more people and</p><p>enables it to be tailored to the needs of</p><p>each learner. </p><p>I see the RSC as the one-stop-shop for ILT support. As well as providing support</p><p>ourselves, it is our job to make sure colleges can take full advantage of the</p><p>widespread services, materials and resources that are available. This year, in</p><p>addition to maintaining and refining the full range of curriculum, managerial</p><p>and technical services we currently offer helpdesk, web site, mailing lists,</p><p>forums, site visits, training, events, newsletter and more we will focus on:</p><p> the newly launched FERL Practitioners Programme </p><p> the needs of HE students both in FE and HE colleges </p><p> more subject specific events </p><p> access to the full range of National Learning Network services </p><p> the connection of specialist colleges to the internet through JANET </p><p>Outside of work, I choose to spend time exploring landscapes and making</p><p>music. I play keyboards, including the pipe organ, and do a bit of choral</p><p>conducting. I look forward to working with you to ensure that our students</p><p>can make the choices they want.</p><p>Chris Hill, RSC Manager</p></li><li><p>Page 2</p><p>The UFI Pilot Project to provide technical</p><p>advice and guidance to learndirect</p><p>centres has now come to an end. As a</p><p>consequence the RSC no longer directly</p><p>supports UFI. </p><p>If you require any advice to assist in the</p><p>provision of learndirect materials please</p><p>contact your local Ufi Hub.</p><p>intouch</p><p>JISC Services:Whats on offer</p><p>UNIVERSITY for industry</p><p>A n I n t r o d u c t i o nThe Technical Advisory Servicefor Images has been funded bythe JISC to help the FE and HEcommunity on all aspects ofdigital imaging and is hosted atthe institute for Learning andResearch Technology at theUniversity of Bristol.</p><p>For those of you who are in the FE sector,TASI provides a number of useful facilitiesthat include:</p><p> The TASI Web site - this providesresources for those who are creating andusing digital images for learning andteaching (see </p><p> An Enquiries Helpdesk - if you have aburning question about digital images orhow to convert your analogue teachingmaterials e.g. photographs and slides intodigital format, then we can answer thosequestions and help guide you through theprocesses. We can also provide help andadvice about using digital images withinteaching materials. Contact the Helpdeskat</p><p> Online technical documentation - anextensive range of reports and FAQs thatcover all areas of digitisation and providesspecific guides on creating and using imagesare made available from the TASI Web site(see</p><p> Training workshops - specific and practicalhands-on training is provided toencourage people within the educationcommunity to engage with creating,delivering and using digital images.</p><p>If you would like any further informationabout how TASi can help you within theFE sector then please contact the TASIHelpdesk (</p><p>Alternatively, if you have particular ideasabout how TASI could support youfurther, then the TASI Director would bevery pleased to hear from you - pleaseemail</p><p>The JISC Regional Support Centres have had their remit extended to</p><p>include providing support for specialist colleges. Across the UK,</p><p>approximately sixty specialist colleges are in the process of being</p><p>connected to the JANET network.</p><p>The JISC Regional Support Centres have had their remit extended to</p><p>include providing support for specialist colleges. Across the UK,</p><p>approximately sixty specialist colleges are in the process of being</p><p>connected to the JANET network. In the East Midlands region, one</p><p>specialist college was connected as part of a pilot project and a further</p><p>six connections are currently being installed in the first phase of</p><p>connections, with a final one scheduled to be installed in phase two of</p><p>the project.</p><p>The specialist colleges will be able to call upon the full range of services</p><p>and support available from the Regional Support Centre, in order to help</p><p>them make the best use of their new JANET connections. This support</p><p>and assistance wont just involve technical support for the JANET</p><p>connection itself, but will also include advice and guidance on a wide</p><p>range of technical issues and very importantly, encourage the sharing of</p><p>best practice among institutions across the region.</p><p>As well as working with college technical staff, the Regional Support</p><p>Centre also offers advice and support in the development and use of ILT</p><p>within teaching and learning to college LRC/library staff, ILT</p><p>practitioners, curriculum staff, developers of web resources, and college</p><p>senior management.</p><p>Information on the range of services available from the Regional Support</p><p>Centre, for both specialist colleges and mainstream further education</p><p>colleges in the East Midlands, can be obtained from the Regional</p><p>Support Centre. You can use our website:</p><p>to find details of forthcoming events, both regional and national and you</p><p>can contact us by telephone: 01509-618110, or email: support @rsc-</p><p></p><p>James Higham, Network Specialist.</p><p>Specialist Colleges Connect to JANET</p><p>SS WatchOpen Source Advisory Service</p><p>Did you know that the JISC haslaunched a new advisory servicecalled OSS Watch: Open SourceSoftware Advisory Service, for UKfurther and higher education. This isprimarily an online service, aimedat institutional managers, softwaredevelopers and IT users.</p><p>Open source software allows users to adaptand modify software and use it for anypurpose. They are then free to redistributecopies of the original or modified software.</p><p>OSS Watch can provide you with adviceand guidance on a range of issues related toopen source software, including : </p><p> Offering a web-based clearing house forup-to-date information</p><p> Information on free and open sourcesoftware</p><p> Development of best-practice guidelines</p><p> Out-reach activities aimed atinstitutional managers, softwaredevelopers and IT users</p><p> Focused assistance for institutions,software projects and investigativereports</p><p> Re-usable objects for educationsimulation</p><p> Ubiquitous computing</p><p> Widening Access with WirelessTechnologies.</p><p>OSS Watch is part of the ResearchTechnologies Service based at OxfordUniversity Computing Services. If youwould like to find out more about the initialonline service go to: you will be able...</p></li></ul>