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Pilot projects steam ahead

Curriculum. * Education Online Network

This involves 10 primary and one secondary school in south Bristol. The aim is to provide 500 multimedia workstations to the schools, some of which will have video-conferencing facilities. Schools will be able to tap into a wide range of curriculum material, including English, maths, modern languages, science and art. Users will have access to a video jukebox holding educational CD-Roms and the Internet via BT's CampusWorld. The project will also provide materials for the UK integrated learning system (OILS), Inset resources and enable schools to share resources. Sponsors include BT, ICL and the University of Exeter School of Education.

* IntraNet

An ambitious project which will link 20 schools (including one special school) across three south London education authorities. Four further education colleges are also taking part. Each school will be provided with a high-speed leased telephone line and a Microsoft server.The aim is to develop a community of schools sharing resources and information, with a focus on languages, history and science. The project also offers high-speed Internet access. Sponsors include Microsoft, INS and Mast Systems.

* Journeys Through Space and Time

This project involves Rosendale Infants School in south London and the Photographers' Gallery (see page 12). Technical support has been provided by the Arts Technology Centre in Islington (Artec). The school has been supplied with Apple Macintosh computers, modem, scanner and Kodak digital camera. Using a variety of software, the pupils will create Web pages and multimedia resources tracing their family histories and local history. Internet access is provided by Artec's server. The project is to be extended to Rosendale Junior School this summer.The aim is to link with schools in the UK and worldwide. Sponsored by Kodak, Sir John Cass's Foundation, the Gulbenkian Foundation and the Walcott Foundation.

* Kent Broadband Learning Project

One primary school and two girls' secondary schools are being provided with a cable TV connection and high-speed cable modem offering access to the Internet and a CD-Rom jukebox. One school is using the modem to provide Internet access to 16 computers simultaneously. Some teachers will have Internet access at home for staff development. The project is also looking at the cost implications of using the technology and could extend to other schools and homes in the area. Organisations taking part include Kent County Council, Kent Training and Enterprise Council, Kent Curriculum Services Agency, Kent Education Information Services, Research Machines, United Artists Communications and BBC .

* The Knowledge Superhighway

Six secondary schools in Birmingham are involved in this project, which has a wide brief including national curriculum subjects, Inset and home learning. The schools will be provided with a mix of ISDN and broadband systems. Sponsors include Birmingham Cable, Novell, Systems Integrated Research, ICL and Acorn.

* Modern Communications for Teaching and Learning in Argyll and Bute

A project designed to link small rural schools with desktop video-conferencing systems and ISDN connections. Forty schools are involved, and the systems will be used for teaching, learning and staff development.One of the video-conferencing activities will involve staff working in groups to develop curriculum material. Participants include BT, Strathclyde University and theArgyll and Bute division ofStrathclyde Region.

* Powys Access for Schools

Primary, secondary and special schools in rural Wales will share a server on the World Wide Web and will produce Web pages. The areas covered will include information technology, English, Welsh, art and design, local history and geography. The sponsor is Powys LEA.

* Superhighways for Able Children in Small Rural Schools

Organisations involved with this project include Northern College, AVC Enterprises, GPT, and Highland, Western Isles, Shetland, Orkney and Grampian education authorities. The project will use broadband and conventional telephone systems to deliver learning resources and Inset material to rural primary and secondary schools. The focus is on maths, technology and language activities for pupils aged between eight and 14.

* Superhighways: Opening the Door to Satellite Remote Sensing

Teachers in eight schools in Dyfed will be able to access remotely-sensed images and image-processing software from the Satellite Centre. The centre will also provideInset resources. The project is designed to enhance geography teaching at key stage 3. The schools will be supplied with ISDN connections and avideo-conferencing system.It is supported by Intel.


* Broadband Support of GNVQ IT Courses

Part of the Gemisis 2000 project (see below), involving the CBI Education Foundation, Nynex, UBI Placement Service, IBM and the University of Salford. The aim is to use broadband systems to deliver GNVQ IT courses. Video-conferencing, multimedia resources and other materials will be delivered to students in schools and colleges.

* Cumbria Broadband Pilot

Sponsored by BT and managed by Cumbria local education authority, this consists of three mini-projects. The Furness Highway Project has linked all secondary schools and special schools in the consortium with electronic mail using Campus. One school is being linked to the local college via ISDN. The Carlisle Schools Video-Conferencing Project is providing three secondary schools with ISDN links and video-conferencing facilities. The Community Regeneration through the Development of IT Skills project involves four primary schools which will act as learning centres for parents and other sections of the community. The centres will be linked through the superhighway.

* GEMISIS 2000

A major project based in Salford involving more than 30 schools and colleges and other members of the community. GEMISIS stands for Government, Education, Medical, Industrial, Social Information Superhighway and consists of five working groups covering business development, education, training and research, crime prevention, health and community.It consists of a series of sub-projects focusing on curriculum development and IT skills development, and using superhighways in business and education links. CD-Roms, the Internet and video-conferencing will be used.The long-term aim is to link schools, colleges, libraries, community and health centres by fibre-optic cable. The project is supported by Nynex, Salford City Council,the University of Salford, the European Unionand others.

* LIFE Programme

LIFE stands for Learning via Interactive and Flexible Education and is based at and supported by Burnley FE College. The project links the college to local schools and introduces Year 11 students to telematics (technology used for distance learning). It also carries advice and guidance.The project uses a mix of technologies including ISDN, CD-Rom, video-conferencing and satellite.

* London Colleges Multimedia Initiative

This project involves London Training and Enterprise Councils and colleges across London, and aims to link open learning centres via a broadband network.

* Students Across Europe

This project is concerned with foreign language teaching in schools and colleges in England, France, Germany and Spain. The schools will use various technologies, including ISDN links, video-conferencing and CD-Rom. Organisations involved include North Tyneside Council, Sunderland and Newcastle Universities, Research Machines, BBC Education, Bard Entertainments and Yorkshire International Thomson Multimedia.

* Superhighway for Education in Hertfordshire

There are two main strands to this project: to deliver curriculum materials at key stages 3 and 4; and to offer community access to learning resources and support. For this, five school-based multimedia learning centres will be linked by broadband technology. Sponsors include Hertfordshire County Council, Hertfordshire Training and Enterprise Council and the CRT Group.

Professional development * CLASS Superhighway Project

Computerised Local Administration for Schools (CLASS), based in Northern Ireland, will select a teacher-training course used in a SIMS information management unit and adapt it for distance learning. CLASS will involve four pilot schools and will use ISDN video conferencing. Sponsors are SIMS, ICLUK, Coopers and Lybrand, The Northern Centre for Learning Resources and the Education and Library Boards' Regional Training Unit.

* Teachers Managing Learning

This Cambridgeshire project aims to link six sites (three major support and development centres, and three schools) via ISDN links. Each site will have PCs to support video-conferencing, Internet access and multimedia. The project aims to offer teachers in different centres the opportunity to collaborate on multimedia documents, plus access to resources and data. Sponsored by a partnership between LEA agencies, professional support and development centres and schools.

Homeschoolscommunity links * Acorn Home-School Links Project

Eight Cambridge schools will be linked to homes via a cable network (see page 15). The project will offer educational programmes on demand and distance integrated learning systems (OILS) for homework and revision. Supporters include Acorn, Online Media, Cambridge Cable, ICL, and SIR.

* Highdown Information Hub

This project involves Highdown Secondary School in Reading, plus two other local schools. The aim is to open the schools' resources to the wider community. Around 50 homes will be linked to Highdown by cable (roughly 14 teachers and 35 parents) The school is creating information databases for subjects, including English, maths, science and geography. The project will use conventional modems, plus cable modem technology to offer fast access. Sponsors include Microsoft, ICL, Lifelong Learning and TeleCentral Communications.

* Superhighways in EducationThe aim of this project is to assess the viability and usefulness of using broadband technology to link schools to homes. The main focus will be on language and cultural studies.Organisations involved include Research Machines, Telewest Communications Group and Essex County Council.

Higher Education

* Mattu Live Links

The Minimal Access Therapy Training

Unit (Mattu) will offer online access to operating theatres for teaching purposes. Those involved include the Royal College of Surgeons, Mercury, Internet Video Communications and BT.

* Voder

This is sponsored by Microsoft, BBC Education, the Open University and Hughes Telecoms. Voder (Video on demand educational resources) will help teachers locate TV-based material more quickly.The project will deliver some Open University courses on-line and around 200 learners will be involved.

* Further information from the Department for Education and Employment home pages at

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