SCHOOL ICT NEWS BULLETIN No 97 - 12/05/2006

Published by ICT Solutions & Norfolk Education Advisory Service


E2BN Conference - 4th to 5th July 2006

A two day conference and exhibition for heads, teachers and others concerned with the potential impact of ICT in education to be held at:

The Robinson Centre, Wyboston, Beds MK44 3AR
4th and 5th July 2006
www.robinsonexec.com

This year's conference, Expanding Horizons, will focus on the opportunities for new and more personalised ways of learning offered by the use of ICT across the curriculum, both in school and at home.
Delegates will have a chance to:

  • Engage and question those responsible for educational policy
  • Sample the latest technology through hands-on workshops
  • Have access to a range of practical advice and assistance
  • See examples of how innovation and best practice is transforming education in schools across the region
  • Discuss and debate topical issues

The conference sessions and workshops have been organised to help teachers and head teachers, as well as ICT and support staff, gain the confidence to implement ICT more effectively within their schools or subject areas. In collaboration with the DfES this conference will also focus on a number of key initiatives that will lead the way in transforming education and extending horizons in Learning and Teaching. They include:

  • Every Child Matters - the DfES' five year strategy to put the child at the centre of learning.
  • Harnessing Technology - maximizing a learner's potential through the personalisation of their learning and development.
  • Learning Platforms - what exactly are they? What is their potential and what support/provision is available from Local Authorities and Regional Broadband Consortia?
  • The 14-19 Agenda - extending opportunities in this critical phase of a young person's life through high-quality vocational and academic opportunities and partnerships with colleges and the workplace.
  • The National Primary and Secondary strategies.
  • Building Schools for the Future - a £40 billion investment over 15 years. We look at how this will affect schools.

In addition there is an ever growing demand for accountability and the need to raise standards through systems of self-review like the ICT Mark, for example. There is also an awareness of the needs of the individual learner, increased decision making at a local level as well as an emphasis on innovation and flexibility. A number of workshops will explore the underlying technical and organisational support required by these increasing demands in line with current best practice.

For more information please visit http://www.eficts.norfolk.gov.uk and select E2BN Conference from the A to Z.

Book your place online now. For further information please telephone 01525 632020.

Author: Jason Zelos

Caching websites - important information

We have seen a very high level of network traffic overnight to the bbc.co.uk website.

This is due to the Equiinet CachePilots in Norfolk schools being used to preload websites for fast access in school the next day.

It is excellent to see that the caches are being used for their advanced functions, but we recommend that you check the caching status after you preloaded a website.

To do this log onto your CachePilot as per your instructions:

Put in your username and password.
Click on the "Web Pre-Cache" button.
Find in the list of profiles for your cached site and click to highlight.
Click on the "Edit" button below the list.
Look at the "Status" button just above the "OK" button.

There will be a start and a finish time to the pre-caching. If the pre-caching started and finished on the same night then the cache was successful and you do not need to make any changes. For example:

Started at 2006-03-27 19:36.
Downloaded: 42,032,761 bytes in 2175 files
Finished at 2006-03-27 20:45.

The above means that the cache downloaded 42 Megabytes between 7:36pm and 8:45pm

If the pre-caching started and finished over several days, or indeed has never finished, then the size of the website is probably too big and it will be consuming a lot of bandwidth on the network. In these cases it would be best to change the address of the website that you are trying to cache to a more specific URL e.g. http://www.norwichareatransport.org/traveltransport/busandrail

Example status message:
Started at 2006-03-27 19:48.
Still running at 2006-03-28 18:36.
Still running at 2006-03-29 18:56.

If you see the following message the website is not cacheable at this time:

Started at 2006-03-28 19:31.
Exited abnormally with error 1 at 2006-03-29 05:45.

If you see this message, or something similar either try to cache a more specific URL or remove this caching profile from the CachePilot.

One of the most difficult websites to cache is bbc.co.uk, its sub folders or sub domains e.g. news.bbc.co.uk or www.bbc.co.uk/schools

Remember that even if you do not use the pre-caching function the CachePilot will still load and save websites as and when children and teachers access the websites.

Author: Jason Zelos

Norfolk High Schools - Phoenix Gold Users

This news item only refers to High Schools within Norfolk.

DfES School and Pupil Census - 18th May 2006

The next DfES return should be carried out on Thursday 18th 2006. The latest version of Phoenix Gold ( V1.35) was sent to all schools earlier this week and must be installed to allow you to carry out this return.

It is important to note on entering the School and Pupil Census Module that you should select the Summer Term from the "Selected Term" window.

This will display the correct tasks to be undertaken. The processes are the same as those carried out for the January Return, but there are fewer to be undertaken ( e.g. No reconciliation's ). Help sheets for the Processes as undertaken in January are still available on the ICT Solutions website, and they will be updated shortly to reflect the minor changes for the forthcoming return, in the meantime the existing Helpsheets can be used as a guide.

Author: Jason Zelos

Infomapper

InfoMapper is a unique Internet tool for working with large, high quality images such as OS Maps, Aerial photography and global images. InfoMapper streams these images over the Internet providing online examination techniques such as panning, zooming, layering images on top of one another, stitching images together, mirroring images side by side, and hot spotting images to link to shared digital learning resource.

InfoMapper allows users to present these teaching and learning resources in the visual context of the user's real world by using maps, aerial photography and global imagery. It's the revolutionary simplicity of the way in which InfoMapper works, allowing pupils and teachers to create communities of shared interest, which makes InfoMapper a tool like no other.

Recent Infomapper developments including local historical mapping are detailed at http://www.webbased.co.uk/infomapper/newsletters/Newsletter_March_2006.pdf.

For more information about this and other E2BN offered applications please visit http://web.e2bn.net and select E2BN Catalogue from the right-hand menu.

Author: Jason Zelos

Securus

Please note the telephone number listed on the recent Securus flyer sent to all schools is incorrect. The contact number for Andrew White should be 01603 475671. Alternatively you can email ictsolutions@norfolk.gov.uk

Author: Jason Zelos

Central Domain Registry - Domain Names

We have been made aware by a number of schools that a company called 'Central Domain Registry' are sending letters & faxes to schools, and are ringing up and asking to speak to the head regarding the purchase of a new domain. All schools are assigned a free 'norfolk.sch.uk' domain by Nominet in conjunction with Becta, in addition there is currently no renewal fee for these domains. If a school wishes to purchase an additional domain name for use, please contact ICT Solutions for advice on what can be done, guidance on how to do it and details regarding how much it will cost. For a .uk domain the Nominet wholesale fee is £6 biannually, most ISP's (called tag-holders) will add a minimal cost on top for admin.

Please note that a domain name does not necessarily include services such as Web Hosting or Email, and that some companies will charge additional amounts for 'URL forwarding', DNS records, transfers, renewals, deletions etc. and may wish you to sign up for more than 2 years at a time.

Author: Jason Zelos

RM Easymail Issues

We have two Norfolk wide issues at the moment with RM Easymail Plus, RM are aware of both and are investigating to find a fix. In both cases email clients (via POP3) are unaffected.

1) Some HTML emails are losing the formatting when viewed in web-mail, the last ICT Solutions eBulletin was affected and we have reports that emails from the DfES have also been affected.

ICT Solutions Ref: 20100

2) Many attachments appear in web mail but cannot be viewed or forwarded. When trying to view a blank screen pops up and when forwarding an error message appears with a code that changes each time.

ICT Solutions Ref: 22086

Author: Jason Zelos

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