rsc east midlands newsletter "intouch" - spring 2006

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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.


  • Spring 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2

    the termly newsletter produced by RSC East Midlands

    Welcome from the EditorHere at the RSC we are always considering ways in which we can usefully extendour support to the sector and recently we have been discussing how we mightsupport learning providers who are involved in the rebuilding, refurbishment, orrelocation of existing premises.

    We are currently undertaking an audit of such work going on in the region and areplanning an event in May that will enable colleagues to share their experiences anddisseminate good practice. If you would like to contribute to this event, please getin touch.

    All RSCs will soon begin supporting providers to improve information securitypractices and James Higham our Technical Advisor, has already undertaken trainingto enable us to offer this support in our region. See the article on page 3 for moreinformation.

    Finally, we will be running our second regional e-fair on 22 June 2006. You wontwant to miss it, so put the date in your diary now! If you would like to contributeto the event, either by delivering a workshop, or by helping out in some other way,then please do get in touch.

    Judi Millage, ILT Advisor (and very temporary editor)!


    EVENTSJanuary27th The Learning Journey,

    South30th Deep and Surface Learning31st MIS Forum

    February1st LRC Forum &

    I Skills Meeting8th Using Mobile and Wireless

    Technology in Teachingand Learning

    TBA Specialist Colleges Forum20th The Learning Journey,

    North23rd Learning Journey:

    Next Steps

    March2nd ILT Forum2nd Technical Forum3rd Assessment7th Effective Management

    of e-Learning8th MIS Forum14th Round 4 NLN Materials

    for ACL16th The Learning Journey

    for Scientists17th E for Access28th Tutoring

    April4th Staff Development and

    ILT Strategy27th Managing Learning

    Activities using LAMS27th Hard and Soft Skills

    For further details see our

    I N S I D ET h i s i s s u eWelcome

    Hinwick Hall College of Further Education:Accessible Entertainment

    Your place or ours? On-site Training from Netskills

    RNIB College Loughborough: Moving on to Daisy

    Round 4 NLN Materials for ACL

    RSC Information Security Services

    The HE Academy: Supporting HE in FE

    Forthcoming events

    Focus on: The Loughborough College Camel

    Hints and Tips: Windows Movie Maker

    In a residential college, the use of technology involving the delivery of music and video is amajor part of the students spare time activities.

    At Hinwick Hall, staff have often modified students own PCs so that those who use communicators orother access equipment can choose and control their own entertainment and these facilities are usually agreat attraction for other students. The trouble is that when students leave they take all the equipment withthem and its not available for the next generation.

    The Colleges Straightforward Interface Project aims to solve this problem and provide extra accessibleresources in classrooms as well. The production of four mobile accessible entertainment stations is beingfunded by the Colleges successful Innovation fund bid. Each station will be a robust PC mounted in amobile cabinet with wireless connection to the colleges network. The cabinets will have touch screens ona long extendible arm as well as radio keyboards and mice and will be able to accept control from thecommunication facilities built into students communication devices.

    During the working day the cabinets will be available anywhere in the College and accessible by a verywide range of students. They will supplement the existing facilities providing the ability to project thescreen onto the wall. In the evening the device will really come into its own. Moved into any of thecommunal or residential areas it will be able to deliver students own music from its amplifiers and willdeliver music videos and films owned by the students through its screen or through a built in digitalprojector for larger groups of students.

    John Sewell, TechDis


    This particular CAMEL is CollaborativeApproaches to the Management of e-Learning. Itexplores the development of a community ofpractice amongst e-learning practitioners workingon aspects of promoting Lifelong Learning.

    The project is being undertaken by two FEcolleges - Loughborough College and LeedsCollege of Technology - and two universities Staffordshire and Greenwich. During the currentacademic year they are meeting at eachinstitution to exchange ideas, problems andpossibilities. Loughborough will share itsexperience of e-progress files, distance learningin leisure courses, developing a database systemto manage learner administration throughintegrating college systems and accessibility.The project is run by JISC infoNet, ALT and theHE Academy as part of the HEFCE Leadership,Governance and Management programme.

    Ray Heasley is the Manager of KnowledgeSystems at Loughborough College and leads theproject there. He says, We have enjoyed thediversity of approaches, meeting a variety ofpeople and reflecting on what we are doing

    ourselves. We have learned that e-learning hasa benefit for a particular setting rather thanbeing an end in itself.

    Although the project acronym was originallyunintentional there is a parallel between camelsand e-learning: they both make somethinghappen in places where it would not otherwisebe possible. Members of the team were inspiredby the Oxfam Unwrapped initiative whichoffered the opportunity to buy a camel for acommunity in Africa. By suggesting thesending of donations rather than Christmascards, the project team eventually raisedenough to buy 3 camels, a calf, a donkey, and,to support education in the community, 300school dinners, a school desk and chair andsome training in modern methods andtechniques for a teacher.

    For more details of the CAMEL project, go orcontact Ray at Forthe real camel, go to OXFAM unwrapped,

    Hints and Tips:Movie Maker might sound exotic and expensive but if you have Windows XP youalready have it! It is a very useful addition to multimedia, probably the easiest videoeditor available today and its free. Try it and you may be surprised how easy it is.

    Limitations are that only wmv, avi and mpeg files are supported flash cannot be imported

    One advantage is that files are highly compressed - a 30 MB file will reduce toaround 8 MB. There are options to add transitions, titles, and 2-D special effects.

    The interface shows the preview paneon the right and theStoryboard/Timeline at the bottom.Having imported clips into MovieMaker you can edit on to thestoryboard. Clips are dragged onto thetimeline and sound can then be added.Movie Maker allows you to preview inreal time.

    If you want to include PowerPointslides, then download a free copy ofMS Producer:

    This is essentially the same interface with the slide feature added to the timeline.

    Martin Cooke, ILT Advisor

    The Loughborough College Camel

    Hinwick Hall College of Further Education:Accessible Entertainment

    F O C U SON...

    Windows Movie Maker

    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

  • intouch

    The JISC Regional Support Centres(RSCs) began supporting HE coursestaught in colleges in 2003. Nationally,the RSC HE Advisers have beenworking with the HE Academy, whonow have funding for FE support.

    The senior adviser for the new HEFCEinitiative, based at the HE Academyheadquarters in York is Colin Rainey.He has been busy making theconnections and brokering thepartnerships on which the success ofthe three-year 0.5m initiative willdepend. One of the key things that weneed to do, he explains, is to make thesector more coherent and to get the keyagencies working together. There are alot of organisations working in the fieldwho are all doing good work, but weneed to improve coherence and

    communications so that we can addvalue to the work being done incolleges. Were working with the JISCPlagiarism Advisory Service, TechDis,the RSCs of course, and others toimprove this coherence and join ourwork up.

    Disseminating examples of goodpractice is another important areawhere the RSCs will help. Peoplesmost precious commodity is time, saysColin, and so we should avoidreinventing the wheel and make themost of what each of us is doing.

    The Academy is in the process ofrecruiting subject specialists at six of itssubject centres. For example, hecontinues, one of them will be based atCity College Norwich, linked to thesubject centre at Oxford Brookes. These

    new specialists will be people whohave credibility in the college sector.

    One of the key challenges facing HEstudents in FE colleges is ensuring theyhave the same level of access toresources as those at HE colleges oruniversities. Colin Rainey agrees thatthis is a challenge in general for thesector. Perhaps the single mostimportant characteristic of the furthereducation sector is its diversity, hesays. Some of the biggest colleges aremore like universities, with dedicatedstaff for particular activities. This is farfrom the case for the smaller colleges.So they may need more support. TheRSCs, with their close knowledge ofindividual colleges, and in partnershipwith others, therefore have animportant role to play in supporting HEin FE.

    For more information on how theAcademy is supporting HE in FE, visit

    Philip Pothen (adapted from an originalarticle in the latest edition of JISC Inform)

    RSC Informati