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.

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  • 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

    own network.

    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

    mmillard@newark.ac.uk 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.

    Welcome

    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

    Forthcoming Events

    College Focus: Newark and SherwoodCollege

    Hints & Tips: Investigate your CollegeInternet Connectivity Problems

    Forthcoming

    EVENTS

    intouch

    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:service@ukerna.ac.uk) or RSC EastMidlands (support@rsc-east-midlands.ac.uk).

    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

    Copyright Workshops

    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

    each learner.

    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,

    forums,