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General Chat Thread, All Wales VLE - The HWB in General; Not sure if this has been commented upon here, and maybe Edugeekers have experience with the company but the new ...
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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    All Wales VLE - The HWB

    Not sure if this has been commented upon here, and maybe Edugeekers have experience with the company but the new All Wales VLE (called The Hwb) contract has been given to: Learning Possibilities

    Currently under development with the first aim (from what I hear) being to get NGFL Wales content onto the new system.

    Just some news that I have not seen on here.

    Gareth

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    More here

    It looks like they are 'nationalising' the procurement of teaching resources, email and Office apps and moving them to a cloud model. I guess this will leave most Edugeekers in Wales doing hardware maintainance, looking after a few specialist apps and praying their multi-Gb/s Internet feed doesn't go down?!

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    3s-gtech's Avatar
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    Not really. Our LEA considered moving to a central AD for all schools, then they looked at the costs and got cold feet. Some of the schools have moved to web-hosted email etc, but the majority have at least medium-term plans for on-site IT management. It'll come though, in time.

    To begin with at least, Hwb will mainly be a resource pool with some bolt-on features like video conferencing, should be good for teaching staff. As long as we ensure they can get to it, not a problem.

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    It might be sooner rather than later, in the pdf I linked to above it says

    Hwb enables members of staff and pupils to have access to cloud
    based services such as Microsoft Office 365. This provides an online
    version of Microsoft Office Word, PowerPoint, Excel, OneNote and
    Lync ensuring that all staff and pupils have access to the Microsoft
    Office suite regardless of whether they have it installed on their
    computer or not.
    and

    .... rollout of the
    service to all schools in Wales during February 2012 to June 2014.
    Of course the key word is 'enables' and it remains to be seen whether schools take the whole package.

    The whole concept certainly fits in with Leighton Andrews' apparent desire to do away with LEAs

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    Hedghog's Avatar
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    I can just see that working on my 8Mb link - Also I can't see it doing 3D rendering, music composition or programming

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    Gonk's Avatar
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    Morning - theres LEA "training" on Hwb in Carmarthen on Friday 18th (anyone here going?), which I have manged to get an invite to. It seems that once Hwb is rolled out, the LEA are to provide the 2nd line technical support and LP the 3rd line, which if you apply a bit of logic, means the school IT Support team have to provide 1st line.

    Reading though the paperwork, the roll out should be complete by 2014 and funding for Hwb ends in 2015 (at this time). Most staff here were reluctant to move to our LEA ePortal/VLE solution and Hwb is starting to be a headache already as staff are moaning about it :/

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ANiceEnglishman View Post
    More here

    It looks like they are 'nationalising' the procurement of teaching resources, email and Office apps and moving them to a cloud model. I guess this will leave most Edugeekers in Wales doing hardware maintainance, looking after a few specialist apps and praying their multi-Gb/s Internet feed doesn't go down?!
    With a £40m investment announced yesterday one would hope that our broadband feed goes down ever again :-) £27m for LEA's and then £20K per secondary school, £10k per primary. Not bad at all.

    Gareth

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    Gonk's Avatar
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    We've migrated to the PSBA but the LEA are limiting our bandwidth as they dont want us to intefere with their services :/ woudl eb nice to have some more

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    Hedghog's Avatar
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    So what happens in 2015? This is typical of these developments they are only funded for a while then the schools are left to pick up the pieces when they end. There seems to be no thinking through the whole project from start to finish - just the begining and the middle.

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    garethedmondson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hedghog View Post
    So what happens in 2015? This is typical of these developments they are only funded for a while then the schools are left to pick up the pieces when they end. There seems to be no thinking through the whole project from start to finish - just the begining and the middle.
    From what I gather this question has not been answered yet. The project ends in 2015 - so it has been thought through to the end. They are looking at alternative funding streams - from SLA to LEA buy in. I cannot see how they can charge in the future as the resources that are on there have been re-packaged from NGFL Cymru (which was free). The Office 365 aspect is free. The only paying aspect seems to be the bits from the company providing the secure areas. Maybe that will be a seperate module we can buy into.

    Any questions for the Hwb can be directed to: supportdesk@hwbsupport.net

    Users can also direct feedback to the Hwb team through the website: https://hwb.wales.gov.uk/HWBSupport/Pages/Home.aspx

    Regards

    Gareth

  11. Thanks to garethedmondson from:

    GrumbleDook (17th January 2013)

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    NB Declaration of Interest : I am presently working as a consultant to LP and WG on this.

    1st line tech support for the HWB and HWB+ sites is via LearningPossibilities. However, there are always going to be times when support staff in schools will deal with or manage the issue on behalf of the teacher / learner with the problem. Local support for things like reseting passwords, etc are always going to about, even when they are also done by the LP 1st line desk or the LA. If a system was being rolled out where a school *didn't* have access to do things like change passwords, control access and permissions to given areas then folk would be rather unhappy (talking from experience on both sides here).

    Once this round of sessions has been done with LAs they will have more information for schools and I would advise folk to keep an eye on the page which Gareth has linked to above.

    LearningPossibilities do have an account on EG but are trying to work through the designated channels with the WG and LAs to get information out. There are folk like Gareth who are keeping a keen eye on what is going on so you will hear more from other members as they get involved. If there is anything I can share I will do but LAs and WG are the first ports of call.
    @Gonk I'll see you on Friday.

  13. 2 Thanks to GrumbleDook:

    garethedmondson (16th January 2013), Gonk (16th January 2013)

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    Gonk's Avatar
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    @GrumbleDook - I was starting to get the feeling that there were some mixed messages (mis-information?) about Hwb, from our LEA. That how I arrived at my assuption that 1st line would be with the schools.

    I got invited on Firday as lots of people were asking questions, so taking along some key people would be an idea to spread the knowledge!

    I look forward to seeing you there

    Ross

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Due to weather problems the session tomorrow has been cancelled (formal notification is being sorted atm and I'll link to it as soon as I have the notice) and it will be rescheduled.

    Sorry for the late notice but we have only just had the conversation with folk in the local area.

    @Gonk ... if you are coming to BETT let me know ... there will be sessions there too.
    Last edited by GrumbleDook; 17th January 2013 at 12:10 PM.

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