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#ILTChampions list summary Feb 2011

March 8, 2011

As promised last month here’s a summary of themes and topics of concern to FE in February 

taken from the ILT Champions list (which set up at the turn of the century  by Becta as part of an embedded peer support initiative. Champs went on a short training course, received a huge folder of resources, and were added to the champ-curriculum JISCMAIL list.)

The list is a vibrant community of very savvy individuals, and is often the first port of call for advice and guidance on a whole range of technology topics.

If you support the use of technology in FE in the UK and think you might benefit from joining the list drop me an email.

Summary of posts to the list in February 2011

We currently have 595 subscribers, with 6 new members, and 4 leavers.

This month we’ve had around 262 posts from 90 individual posters. I’ve taken out those that had a limited lifespan, advertising jobs or events, and tried to boil down the issues to a pithy sentence, if you want to read the full discussions, or any others from the archive back to 2000AD they can be found at (if you are a member of champs list) 

“poster” of the month for February is the charming Merv Stapleton. 


“Do not covet your ideas. Give away everything you know and more will
come back to you.” (Paul Arden)


>14-16 schools students internet access on college campus

A discussion began around the additional duty of care requirements for 14 year olds attending college, and what sort of restrictions might apply.



A discussion about the best educational technology to build into a BSF Academy, focussed largely on identifying what benefits they hope to achieve and find technology to match that, 

-the need to involve the students in the planning and ongoing management, 

-ensuring the budget covers staff development. 

It was highlighted that technology allows for more flexible and potentially inclusive learning design, and the support available from JISC TechDis and the regional support Centres that might be useful eg – <a href="</p>


>Apps (iPhone, iPad & iTouch)

A discussion on suitable apps for use across college identified some trials with site licence for Mpage 

-RSC SE have built an app to support staff in the region.

-Dragon Search and Dragon Dictation highlighted as useful accessibility tools

-Soundnote, and Audioneote to support note taking, and picotello for creating photostories.

– lists of ipad educational apps…

-A long list of apps for Literacy, Numeracy and Accessibility was also suggested, which I’ve added as a seperate post.


>commercial lesson planning software 

A request for possible lesson planning tools highlighted the following: 

-The JISC funded Phoebe pedagogic planner

-The JISC RSC Eastern also have a tool in their moddle swap shop area 


>Do you use LanSchool?

An issue was identified when using LAN school with exam application AAT (appears they use a common file name). No fix, solution currently to turn LANschool off in exam room. 


>ePortfolio Workshop 

A JISC workshop was highlighted How can ePortfolios support 21st Century Learning?

10:00 – 16:30 Wednesday 30th March 2011, Venue: Culture Lab, Kings Walk, Newcastle University


>Equality and Diversity 

Additional E&D resources were highlighted


>free tutorials for office 2010?

A request for materials to help ease the migration to Office 2010 resulted in a number of suggestions:

-“Where’s my command gone tool”… 

-MS tool…

-An overview

-Online turorials


Functional Skills/Teacher Training and Health Care Resources

Resorces mentioned at LSIS conference:….


>JISC Legal response to SKY and ERA

Clarification from JISCLegal regarding Sky as a broadcaster -not included in the ERA licence:


>Fix the Web

Fix the web highlighted as a way of identifying inaccessible websites


>Sixth Form College JISC Status

The cahnge of Government has caused some issues around who pays for what? 6th forms were concerned about having their JANET connection , domain and other JISC services removed. As I write this (7/3/11) there are still issues however a statement from JANET provides some clarity:



A summary of the recent survey is posted on the LSIS site


>Interactive Whiteboards

A lengthy discussion regarding the merits and modes of use of IWB’s indicated the common need for staff development, the need for them to be ubiquitous, alternative technology like tablets, and gyration mice and strategies to overcome resistance. The software provided by vendors is often bound to specific baords, and work continues on interoperability. Useful blog post by Dave Foord


>Migrating Moodle from Linux to Windows 

Discussions highlighted a lack of capacity and capability (and willingness) of college IT teams to run Linux servers for moodle. Examples of Windows hosting were provided, and suggestions for external hosting as an option.



There was concern regarding the proposal from LSN to deliver a paid for Molenet service.


>Moving On 

Merv Stapleton, one of the original ILT champs announced he was moving on after spending 20 years at City of Sunderland college. This provoked a flood of emails from champs, old and new thanking Merv for his contribution over the years. Merv can be found on twitter @welshmackem.


>Moving to Microsoft Office 2010

A lengthy discussion around the shift to office 2010 identified it isn’t really an issue, in the way the shift from 2003 to 2007 was. Those looking to move from 2003 considered issues with sharepoint intergration prevented openoffice adoption. MS licences to colleges were not so expensive as to provoke OSS adoption as a big cost saver. Student licences available from


>online Safeguarding materials for staff information/training

Resources suggested -ThinkB4U E-Safety Resource. 


>Planet eStream

Discussions identified this as a stable service, though some had had teething troubles.


>RECOMMENDATION NEEDED: eLearning Authoring Tool

-Xerte online toolkits supplied on USB avoids issues with maintaining the server 

-Another route to Xerte is to buy into JISC TechDis ITQ Resource area <> which gives you access to materials about ITQ for Accessible IT Practice as well an organisational Xerte Online Toolkit.

-FREE Microsoft LCDS 

-an example of a resource created using eXe : 


>safeguarding in FE and Skills

-reminded that Becta outputs were saved on National Archive:…


>Sharepoint users 

A call to share infrastructure designs for implementing sharepoint highlighted the following resources 

-MS spec page

– Walsall college case study 

Tea and biscuit fuelled Sharepoint visits were arranged off list.


>Social networks

A discussion regarding policy for social networks identified issues around JISCMAIL filestore, and user requirements. It’s strange the list can support attachments, and html mails, but the general view is people want plain text.



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