How we're working with colleges and skills providers to enable learners and staff to embrace digital technology...
With their phone system deemed no longer fit for purpose, Leeds College of Building were unsure on how to go about replacing it or how to articulate their requirements in a tender document. Via our telephony purchasing service, the college not only saved money but also enhanced their blended learning approach with the ability to offer webinars and online tutorials to learners. Telephony also supported the college’s assessors who are out in the field visiting apprentices.
“Without Jisc’s help and advice as a third party to read through the tenders we wouldn’t have got the precise phone system that the college wanted.”
Ian Knight, ICT manager, Leeds College of Building.
We worked with Esher College to ensure their network could cope with a large number of devices as well as enable ease of access via eduroam, resulting in over 118 wireless access points across the campus.
"We used to have different networks for staff and students, now it’s one network, one logon, everywhere. It’s so nice and easy, with no need for various passwords”
Daniel Loughlin, IT director, Esher College.
How West Suffolk College found a cost-effective and efficient solution using our web filtering framework
With 11,000 students ranging from 14–16-year-olds to adults, West Suffolk College caters for a wide range of learning needs and instant internet access is a key part of meeting those needs. Our web filtering framework enabled the college to provide an effective content filtering, in order to comply with its duties to safeguard students.
“It was so easy. Whenever we do a large project, one of the hardest things for me to have to do is to go out and get costs – but Jisc went out and did all the legwork for me. “The first thing occurred to me is: if it’s made its way to the Jisc framework, it’s a viable product. That took away my concern.
[via the web filtering framework] I can target a learner, I can target a group of learners, or I can target the whole campus. We can finesse aspects of our web filtering now to meet student requirements.”
Scott Gerber, IT services manager, West Suffolk College.
How eduroam helps meet learners’ demand for wireless and improve the college’s reputation – on campus and beyond
Before eduroam was installed, the rise in demand for wireless networking was presenting a challenge at Cambridge Regional College – which has roughly 3–4,000 students and around 450 staff. Users connected via 90 access points and there was no integrated way of allowing students wireless access across multiple sites. With the backing of the senior management team, within four months the college had installed and deployed the technology. The rest is history.
“The ability for students to roam and get an authenticated connection where historically they wouldn’t have been able to – I don’t think we can underestimate the value of that.”
Les Black, director of ICT and facilities, Cambridge Regional College (CRC).
As a very large and dispersed organisation Cornwall College's key challenge was to provide users with a consistent experience across all its sites and to make sure students have access to all the resources they need, wherever they are studying.
To achieve this the college's wifi system needed a major upgrade. Being users of the Janet Network the college was able to deploy eduroam, which enables users to connect seamlessly to the internet – even when they are on the move - via a single wifi profile and set of credentials.
"We've always viewed Jisc as a trusted authority to whom we can look for advice and guidance when we're deploying new services and solutions. What we saw with eduroam was a substantive resource around its configuration and deployment and that really took an awful lot of the guesswork out of deploying wireless services. We knew that it had been honed over a period of time and that gives real confidence and assurance."
Steve Cant, head of IT, Cornwall College
By 2013 the rising cost of Pembrokeshire College's external phone calls was causing real concern so it called on Jisc's telephony purchasing service for help to cut its bills.
We worked with the college and managed the procurement process in line with OJEU (Official Journal of the European Union) rules and then helped during the evaluation and transition process. These later stages were straightforward because the college and supplier are both connected to the Janet Network.
"The core thing that's always underpinned everything within FE has been the Janet Network, which is excellent and an enabler for all sorts of technology."
Matthew Marl, IT manager, Pembrokeshire College
As for most FE colleges, buying whole-class sets of printed textbooks isn't a realistic option for Havering College; in any case, learners are increasingly resistant to carrying them around.
These changing learner preferences, as well as the college's programme to give blended learning approaches a larger role in its courses, meant that college needed to provide different kinds of high quality resources. It is now making extensive use of Jisc's digital resources for FE including e-books for FE, Hairdressing Training and Digimap for Colleges.
"Our learners really value having 24/7 access to high quality resources and we're finding that learners who use the online materials are coming out of their external exams with higher grades."
Maxine Halford, manager of business and management systems, Havering College
Kirklees College embarked on a programme to implement blended learning as a way to help students become more independent learners.
The e-learning team asked us for advice and we introduced them to people in other colleges who had been on the same journey. Their experiences and insights helped Kirklees College to make faster progress, save money and develop a highly successful approach to blended learning. The college is now seen as a pioneer in the field and it now provides advice and mentoring to FE organisations.
"We have surveyed our students to assess blended learning's impact and 83% said it has helped them to become more independent learners. Our students are getting better jobs because of these independent learning skills."
David Scott, head of e-learning, Kirklees College
Coleg Cambria is removing its static PC suites and putting Google Chromebooks into all its classrooms and learning spaces. It has adopted Google Classroom and Google G Suite for Education (formerly Google Apps for Education) as part of an ambitious programme to enable learners to make the most of the opportunities offered by digital technologies.
We're playing our part by helping the college make effective use of e-books. Our e-books for FE service offers a wide range of curriculum mapped digital textbooks, including ones in Welsh, with no limit on the permitted number of concurrent users.
"I think Jisc are invaluable in negotiating with all of those various publishers…as individual colleges we probably never could do that. I think that's the strength of Jisc."
Patrick Cox, library services manager, Coleg Cambria