School ICT News Bulletin No. 207 - 07/09/2012
Published by ICT Shared Services
Norfolk Cloud Portal
The Norfolk Cloud Portal will be launching soon (mid September) which will mean a change to the screen you will see to log in to your Google accounts. The introduction of this portal is to enable Single Sign on for some common applications used in Schools and we have been working with a range of Third Party Suppliers to get their applications to allow our Norfolk Google NSIX accounts to act as the log in.
The suppliers currently confirmed to be on the Portal are:
Google email & Apps
Purple Mash / 2 Simple
There are other Suppliers that we are still working with and hope to be able to include by the end of the year.
If your school has a contract with any of the above companies (either through NCC or directly) it will allow you into the Application, if you do not buy into that product you will get a message advising how this can be purchased.
All of the suppliers we are working with are endorsed by schools within Norfolk and have met a strict Technical and Curriculum criteria set by ourselves and Jill Duman for the Schools Advisory Service.
Author: Tanya Allen
YouTube for Schools
We have been testing the educational version of YouTube and are pleased to announce that this is available on request. The Educational filter offers a restricted version of Youtube with comments disabled and access only to videos tagged and approved for education. There is also an option to allow staff to sign in to YouTube with their NSIX account to access a more open version if required. Videos from the full YouTube can then be added to playlists to make them available for students.
If you would like to know more about having YouTube for schools set up please get in touch
Author: David Baird-Parker
Google Safe Search
Google's SafeSearch uses automated methods to help prevent objectionable and adult content from appearing in your search results. While no filter is 100% accurate, SafeSearch should help you avoid most of this type of material.
Strict filtering filters sexually explicit video and images from Google search results pages, as well as results that might link to explicit content.
Moderate filtering excludes sexually explicit video and images from Google search results pages, but does not filter results that might link to explicit content. This is the default setting.
No filtering turns off SafeSearch filtering completely.
The main problem with Google safe search setting has been that it can be turned off easily by students when logging into their NSIX account. This has been raised with both BT and Google and unfortunately there is no setting that can be applied to restrict students accounts being able to do this. We will continue to work with BT and Google on the concerns you have raised but in the meantime Safe Search is not designed to replace your schools Filtering Software, and these should continue to be your primary source for preventing undesirable content from being accessed.
Author: Tanya Allen
Schools Internet filtering update
At the end of the summer term we advised that ICT Shared Services had been working with BT to consider two proposed solutions to provide a replacement filtering service that meets schools’ requirements and we had asked BT to formally propose one solution within the context of the managed service for our consideration.
We expected to make a decision before the end of term depending on the contractual arrangements that had to be considered but we were unable to reach that stage because we required more information to support the decision
We believe we have found a solution that is a like for like replacement for the current service which can be delivered within the constraints of the current contract, but in addition provides a more granular and flexible solutions for those schools that require it
We intend to move to the new service as soon as possible through a formal project once the solution has been validated by our commercial team, technical processes and approved by the Schools ICT Steering group (19th September).
We will of course keep you informed of any progress.
Author: Rob Price
UCC Email Accounts
A number of schools have requested increases in the size of these email accounts, (Head@, Office@ etc).
Due to a number of concerns, such as security, impact on the underlying infrastructure and administration this is not a simple or straight forward request.
ICT Shared Services has been working with BT to consider potential options which include the possible integration of the UCC email accounts with the NSIX accounts.
ICT Shared Services is scheduled to present an options appraisal report to the next meeting of the Schools' ICT Steering Group, which is scheduled for 19th September 2012.
We will let you know the outcome of the meeting.
Author: Martin King