Becta – so near to linking up Britain?

Is this the saviour of schools broadband?

hallaton village2

Are you interested in the sustainability of internet connectivity in your school? What could the opportunities be?

I recently saw a tweet by Jon Hunt – whose website shows him to be an Education Broadband Specilaist. Jon had done some research through Becta’s website and highlighted 3 recent papers. if you’d like much more thorough analysis of these items, then Jon’s site is worth a look.

Response to Digital Britain is a fairly short document and contains some great ideas, especially in relation to rural schools – a significant minority of remote rural schools remain simply too expensive to connect to NGA. Ironically, their very remoteness means they are the schools with potentially the most to gain from next generation broadband access.  The paper shows technical ways in which a school could provide links to the community. Is there a simpler way for schools to share the burden of the cost of broadband AND help the local community – like renting out space? Why can’t a village primary school provide a desk, internet and work space for a fee? Safeguarding is clearly an issue, but if there was ever a time for school leaders to think outside the box – surely it’s now. What do you think?

Next Generation Access is – by it’s nature a weighty document. This document shows – amongst other things ideas where schools broadband could be opened up to local users in rural communities. I’ve been discussing this idea with headteachers for a few years – ‘just thinking out loud’. No headteacher has dismissed it yet as ridiculous.

Looking Ahead was published after the announcement of Becta’s closure and is (not surprisingly) somewhat briefer!  This short document picks up on some powerful points education broadband is the only available broadband in some areas … A heavy reliance on significant (and ongoing) contribution from schools – is this sustainable? … Fragmentation risk – schools/authorities opting out of RBC-/authority-led provision ..

Just walk away from your PC

How to easily use adult sign ins.

Recently, I’ve been working with staff groups and explaining that if they log in to EMBC as an adult then they’ll get filter level 1. (I understand that similar facilities are in play across other RBCs). However, if they leave their PC for any reason, then a child could use the PC with the adult filtering level.

But – if you log off then next time you use your PC you’ve got to set it all up again, or you can ..

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Generating Full User Report in SUMS

If you must!

SUMS is the user management / admin tool for schools in the EMBC region. https://sums.embc.uk.com/SUMS

The system has recently been re-done and works a lot faster than it used to.

It still has one bl**dy annoyance – when it’s doing anything – like processing a request – it shows a blank screen rather than a scrolling something interesting.

Log in to SUMS to start with – you’ll need a user name with full admin rights for your school account.

Look down the left hand side – you’ll see this

EMBC SUMS reports

Select Reports

On the right hand window – scroll down until you see

EMBC SUMS reports

This will give a vast amount of information about the users in your school. A VAST amount!

If you have a long list, SUMS seems to land in an odd spot, so scroll back up until you see

EMBC SUMS reports

If you download a report you’ll be prompted with this –

EMBC SUMS reports

It will then show you your user name and prompt you for your password again.

Obviously, there are no further screen grabs for this post!

Facebook and Bullying – whose issue?

On the Safetynet today

A very active discussion started with this question.. 

Schools are getting a number of requests from parents to investigate the use of Facebook and other social networking sites for bullying. Students are posting threatening messages etc on these sites and parents are asking the school to find out who has done it etc. 

One response pointed to a DCSF article –  this article looks like it offers a lot of useful advice.

Did you know there is a now a way to get to Facebook from within EMBC?

Douglas Adams and Safeguarding?

Loughborough – 9th March

At the Regional Broadband meeting today in Loughborough there were some fantastic presentations and discussions.
Simon Genders from Leicestershire County Council gave a brilliant talk about safeguarding, and highlighted the fact that children don’t see a distinction between life on-line and life off-line.

This reminded me of the great quote from Douglas Adams. It seems even more appropriate now, but I wonder if that 15 – 35  age range has changed ..

Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things

You Tube Safety Mode

We’ve been working with primary schools in the EMBC region to help them use YouTube. This video from ABC Learning shows you how to use You Tube in Safety Mode

Sparklebox Update

Sparklebox is now blocked by EMBC. 
I’ve also received confirmation that a number of sparklebox related sites and feeds have also been blocked.
In the last few days, 2 local authorities have issued information regarding reasons for blocking Sparklebox –

The excerpts are here ..

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