rsc east midlands newsletter "intouch" - autumn 2003
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DESCRIPTIONThe 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.
Autumn Volume 1 Issue 4
the termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands
Welcomefrom the Editor
As the new academic year gets underway, I am pleased to announce that RSCEast Midlands has been granted JISC funding for another three years.
This will enable us to continue to work alongside you all, offering you guidance and support as the use
of ILT becomes more widespread in the teaching and learning process. On a personal note, I am
particularly happy to be given the opportunity to continue to build on the excellent working
relationships I have formed with so many of you and I hope to replicate this as our remit expands to
include support for specialist colleges and higher education, in particular small HEIs.
Id like to take this opportunity to wish you all success in the coming year and if we can be of help in
any way please do get in touch. As always, if you have any comments about this newsletter, or you
would like to contribute an article, perhaps for the College Focus section of the next newsletter, email
us at support@rsc-east-midlands .ac.uk
Judi Millage, ILT Advisor
Newark and district boasts good relationships and
strong links between its schools and the college.
NELI (Newark Extended Learning Initiative) aims to
develop further cooperation and teamwork by
promoting and encouraging better use of ICT across
the full spectrum of education and training.
Based in Newark & Sherwood College, NELI is a
team of education and ICT specialists together with
extensive business experience promoting the
benefits of e-learning. Our primary aim is to
encourage resource sharing, developing skills and
training teachers, tutors and trainers in effective use
of the technologies. We are not limiting ourselves to
the schools and college: the private, public and
voluntary sectors are also key partners in this project.
NELI not only promotes resource sharing and
training but the project is providing the ICT
infrastructure to enjoy seamless communication.
Wireless networks have been designed to be leaky,
enabling both children and parents to benefit from
home education opportunities with school laptops. It
is possible for teachers to visit another school, to log-
on and be able to access resources or their pupils
records from their own school. This suggests the
possibility of teacher sharing: the costs of teachers
shared between schools, or being able to employ a
specialist teacher, the costs of whom could not
otherwise be justified. Equally a pupil in the
secondary school may attend college (or visa versa)
with a laptop and still be able to draw on personal
files or shared resources located on their schools
Importantly NELI has a role in the proof of concept.
We have an enormous opportunity to evaluate
different ways of doing things. As the technologies
emerge, schools and businesses fitted out later in the
project may have significantly different
infrastructures and methods of working than those at
the beginning. The key is that all will have the same
connectivity to shared resources.
NELI relies on collaboration & cooperation between
many institutions with its foundations in a strong
partnership approach between North Nottinghamshire
Learning Partnership, Nottinghamshire County
Council and the Learning and Skills Council.
Sharing is crucial to the success of NELI; the team
welcomes contact from interested parties, whether it
is for more information, or sharing expertise and
experience or suggestions on how we may continue
to push the barriers of e-learning for the benefit of
the whole learning community.
Melvin Millard, NELI e-learning Team Leader
firstname.lastname@example.org 01636 680680 x 277
Newark andSherwood College
C O L L E G EFOCUS
I N S I D ET h i s i s s u e
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.
Meet the new Manager
The Technical Advisory Service forImages: An introduction
JISC Services: Whats on offer?
RDN Virtual Training Suite: Five newinternet tutorials for FE students
Specialist Colleges Connect to JANET
University for Industry
College Focus: Newark and SherwoodCollege
Hints & Tips: Investigate your CollegeInternet Connectivity Problems
Netsight is a JANET monitoring service developed byUKERNA. It allows colleges to investigate their ownInternet connectivity problems.
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.
The Netsight website can be found athttp://nottingham.netsight.ja.net. The informationspecific to your college is protected by a uniqueusername and password. If you are unsure of yourusername details, please contact either JANET CustomerService (mailto:email@example.com) or RSC EastMidlands (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Once logged in, the Netsight system greets the user withthree main choices:
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.
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 Microsoft.com, but had no problems
with BBC.co.uk, then it would be quite likely that one ofthe transatlantic nodes were non-operational.
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.
Chris Bell, e-Information Officer
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
Smart use of Smart Technology:The NELI Project
October28th ILT Forum
November6th Technical Forum10th MIS Forum19th Project Management24th-25th Ferl Annual Conference26th LRC Forum27th Microsoft Technology Day
December2nd Freedom of Information &
Records Management9th Using ILT in Health &
Social Care11th Plagiarism & Electronic
January13th Using the Internet for
Learning & Teaching in FE14th E-learning: Creating,
Converting & Re-usingcontent with VLEs
21st Using ILT in PE & SportScience
For further details see our websitewww.rsc-east-midlands.ac.uk
Investigate your College Internet Connectivity ProblemsH i n t s & T i p s
Its because teaching touches lives that I work in education. I come to East
Midlands RSC from City of Bath College where I was ILT Development
Leader and subject leader for teacher training courses, responsible for the
development and implementation of ILT strategy. I have
also recently worked with City & Guilds as a verifier,
Edexcel, FENTO and the LSDA as E-Learning Support
Network Co-ordinator for the south west.
To me, ILT is not an end in itself but a tool in the
toolkit available to teachers, support staff and
managers. It is just another tool, to be
selected when appropriate, but with a
particular strength in giving learners
ownership of their learning, so that it really
is student centred. ILT makes learning
more accessible to more people and
enables it to be tailored to the needs of
I see the RSC as the one-stop-shop for ILT support. As well as providing support
ourselves, it is our job to make sure colleges can take full advantage of the
widespread services, materials and resources that are available. This year, in
addition to maintaining and refining the full range of curriculum, managerial
and technical services we currently offer helpdesk, web site, mailing lists,